How to Help a Child Cope with Divorce

Guest Blogger, Brooke Chaplan

Divorce is a situation that occurs in many households, and if you and your spouse have decided to separate, you should know that you are not alone. Resources certainly exist to help you cope with this new experience, and some of those resources can also help your children. Here are just some of the ways you can help a child cope with his or her parents’ divorce.

Have a Plan

When you first tell your children about the divorce, you likely do not have a detailed plan for exactly how the situation is going to play out. Still though, you can have at least the start of a plan. For example, maybe you have already decided that the children will spend the school weeks with one parent and weekends with the other, or perhaps you can set a schedule for holidays due to religious beliefs that are different from your partner’s. Some of the concerns that arise with divorce have to do with the unknown, and offering children some stable answers can help.

Seek Professional Guidance

You might think that you and your spouse will work through all of the details independently and that you don’t need to seek professional help. However, since you are navigating a new situation, you likely do not realize all of the obstacles that could come in the way. Instead of trying to manage these challenges independently, work with a divorce attorney. This person can help you to make decisions that benefit both your family members and yourself. Without professional guidance, more stress can manifest for you, your partner and your children.

Maintain Routines

If you’ve ever been on a long vacation from work, you may have found that you were craving to get back into a routine at the end of that break. Children can thrive on routines as well. Too many big changes at once can cause additional irritation and stress for your kids. Work to keep them in their regular activities, to bring them to social events with their friends and to prepare meals on a schedule. As you do this, make sure that your children know that they can come to you with any questions they have. Let them take a break if they need to in order to cope, but have the routine in place for when they come back to it.

Do Something Special

In the midst of the divorce, new living arrangements and overall adjustments for everyone, planning any other sort of activity might seem ludicrous. However, think about several months from now when you will likely have at least found a new normal for yourself. Put a special date in the calendar that your kids can look forward to. Depending upon time, budgetary concerns and other factors, you can make this outing as large or as small as necessary and desired.

Children are certainly affected by divorce to varying degrees. Committing to and implementing some strategies can help to make the situation as positive as possible for your kids.

Author Bio

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

Related Articles

When Your Parents Divorce: A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Dealing with Divorce

Divorce is the Worst 

 

 

Helping Kids Cope with a Loved One’s iIllness: Spotlight and Giveaway of Mooshu Worries

When a family member is diagnosed with an illness it impacts the whole family. Adults, teens and young children try to make sense of these new challenges and cope with complicated emotions. Parents often struggle with explanations of the illness and treatments to young children. Our guest blogger today has faced similar struggles and created a wonderful resource to help others.

Read more

Helping Your Kids to Compete Without Stress

Guest Blogger, Brooke Chaplan

Kids benefit from having the opportunity to compete against others in sports and other activities that they love. When kids compete, they learn valuable social skills such as how to gracefully win and lose. They also develop the ability to focus under pressure, which is a skill that they will use for the rest of their life. While there are many wonderful things that your kid gains when they are encouraged to participate in competitions, they can also experience extreme pressure and anxiety that can negatively affect their growth. It’s important for your kids to push themselves, but also for them to have fun and relax. Here are some ways you can help your kids develop by enabling them to compete without stress.

Provide Enough Time to Practice

Being unprepared for a public performance is always stressful. Make sure to set up a regular schedule for practice times that include sessions at home as well as during their lessons. In some cases, your child may need to focus on only one sport or activity to make sure that they have enough time to practice at the advanced level. Once you have the practice routine in place, be sure to stick to it. Your child will feel less stressed during their competition when they know their routine by heart. Make sure your child also has enough time to play and enjoy their childhood—a major cause of stress in children can involve the constant parade of activities and sports to compete in.

Make It Easy to Stay Organized

Competition days are often filled with a frenzy of activity. This is especially true if you must travel for competitions. Trying to search for a lost shoe or pair of tights can generate unnecessary stress for your entire family. Help your child stay organized by having them pack days in advance. You could also take advantage of specialized duffels and luggage for specific sports that make it easy to know what to bring and where to store it. For instance, competition dance bags have mesh pockets ensure breathability for fabrics, and they also increase visibility so that your child can immediately see where their things are without having to dig around. Organization is key.

Balance Competitions with Fun

Many competitions are held in areas that are fun to explore. If your child is competing out of town, then plan something fun to do afterwards. You could take them to tour a museum or visit an amusement park. For local competitions, consider enjoying a dinner out that night. Tying the competition to something fun helps your child make positive associations with the activity.

Celebrate Personal Successes

Winning is always awesome, but your child should also know that you are proud of his or her efforts no matter what happens. During competitions, watch to find at least one thing that you can mention that your child did well. This helps you to remind your child that hitting personal goals is also important, and you can also boost his or her self-esteem.

The ultimate goal of having your child compete is to build their self-confidence. It is normal for kids to feel a little nervous before a competition, but you need to watch for signs that they are dealing with too much stress. If you notice that your child is tense or no longer enjoying a favorite activity, then make a few adjustments. Whether your child needs help staying organized or just a reminder of how much fun competing is, you can make a difference in your child’s enjoyment of their sport.

Author Bio

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan