Giving Children of Divorce a Home

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( — February 19, 2010) — Divorce sometimes is harder for children than it is for parents. However, children of divorce no longer have to struggle alone with their doubts and fears. 

There are several unique strategies that parents can employ to help their children through a divorce.

Social support is very important to a child after a divorce. The world that he or she knew before divorce is completely different. Aside from social networks online, there are other social environments that can also be used to help a child through divorce.

Relatives are great anchors during this time. They are able to add some familiarity in a child’s life. Some parents do not want their children to have any communication with their ex’s relatives, but this is not always the best course of action. Taking away people who are important to a child can disrupt their lives and fill them with doubt about their own lovability and self-worth.

Friends are another part of a child’s life that are very important during divorce. For the first few months it is a good idea to allow a child family trips with their friends. This helps a child realize that his or her life is stable in many different ways. Many children start wondering if other people in their lives are going to split up or leave, so the reassurance that comes through contact with friends is important.

School is another safe haven for children of divorce. Teachers should be notified of the divorce so that they can monitor children to see if there are any adverse affects on a child. They can also speak with a child in a reassuring manner. School councilors can also help with guidance. It is not a good idea to immediately remove a child from the school that he or she has been used to attending. As many parts of a child’s life should remain stable during a divorce, at least for a few months.

Some children seem more affected by divorce than others. These children are often depressed or angry. A medically trained health professional can help a child regain their previous disposition. Group counseling sessions or one-on-one therapy can be very helpful tools in seeing a child through a divorce. Additionally, social sites built for the support of children going through a divorce are a safe way for children to deal with their issues and concerns.

Anger will often show itself through a child’s actions. They may act out at school, question the authority of their parents, blame one parent for leaving the other, yell more, or even get into fights. This is normal for many children, but the anger should recede over time. If it does not, then a medical professional should be contacted.

Depression is another common side effect of divorce. Children may blame themselves for the divorce or believe that they are no longer lovable. A depressed child will avoid contact with other people and neglect things that used to interest them. Another sign of depression in a child is changed eating habits or unusual acting out. Depression should also be addressed by a trained health professional.

Anxiety is a common sign in children of divorce. They may become clingier to their parents, even asking to stay home from school. They might express concern over the relationships they have with other people. Anxiety can usually be addressed by a parent, caregiver, or support website.

Traumatic stresses are symptoms that occur because of how a child experienced the event. Sometimes it can take years for the symptoms to completely disappear. Usually these symptoms will arise during events that remind the child of the divorce. Usually the symptoms of traumatic stress include anger, anxiety, and depression.

The use of a social site for children of divorce will help to curb some of the symptoms that usually occur in a child’s life. Just knowing that someone else is going though the same process is a big help for most children.