Divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, especially children. For many children, divorce symbolizes the end of their family unit and the beginning of a new way of living — one they’re unsure how to navigate. This can bring many emotions to the surface, anger being one of the most prevalent.
If your children are angry about your divorce, you may not know how to handle their emotions because you’re trying to process yours at the same time. Here are some tips to get you through this difficult time and deal with your children if they’re angry about your divorce.
Be There for Your Children
When parents divorce, children often feel as though everyone is abandoning them. One of the most important things you can do for your children is to be there for them at all times. Even when they’re not kind to you, let them know you’re always there for them. You can do this by expressing your love in how you talk and act towards them. There will be many times when you’ll have to be the punching bag for their emotions, but if they know you’re always going to be there for them, it can help.
Look for Different Ways to Communicate
Some children don’t want to verbalize their thoughts or emotions. If your children fall into this category, look for other ways to communicate. Write them a letter or even send them a text. Let them know that you want to know about their feelings and will be there when they’re ready to talk. Also, remind them that you’ll always love them, no matter what happens.
Take an Active Interest in Their Lives
Don’t just sit on the sidelines of your children’s lives, take an active interest. Take the time to ask what they’re doing, what they’re watching on TV, and who they’re hanging out with at school. Let them know that you’re interested in what’s going on in their lives and want to be a part of it.
Don’t Take it Personally
It’s easy to take the harsh words and actions that your children are dishing out, personally. After all, you’re going through an emotional rollercoaster as well. Don’t take their words and actions personally; their anger is coming out of fear of what’s happening. While you shouldn’t take it personally, you also shouldn’t allow them to be disrespectful in the process. Not being happy with the situation isn’t a free pass to disrespect you.
Be Open to Answering Questions
Children have many questions about divorce. From the why’s to the what if’s, a lot is going on in their minds. Let them know that you’re there to answer all of their questions. If you don’t have an answer, be honest. Lying to your children is worse than admitting you don’t know. You don’t want to lose their trust as you’re going through your divorce.
Ask for Help
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and you definitely need a village if you are going through a divorce and have children. Having people you can rely on, like trusted friends and family, can be incredibly valuable. Sometimes you might need help getting through to your child; that’s a good time to ask a trusted family member or friend to help. You don’t want to ask the entire village to help because your child may take this as everyone ganging up on them. But, if one person, who you know they’ll listen to, will talk to them, they may be able to help.
Seek Professional Help
If you’ve tried to talk to your child about their anger towards your divorce and have asked others to help with no success, it may be time to seek professional help. Your angry children are not the first that a therapist has seen or talked to. If they refuse to go see a therapist, you may still want to go yourself. Having that outlet to vent your frustrations and get help in the process won’t hurt the situation.
Remember to be patient if your children are angry because of your divorce. Give them time to process what’s going on and how it’s going to change their lives. Be supportive as they try to get through this challenging time in their lives.