One of the most challenging aspects of owning a business is that your personal life is usually impacted in small or
who are we kidding, big ways. It’s not easy to find the zen balance to which the universe holds, let alone business and family life.
Divorce is not an easy issue for families. It’s even more challenging to go through when there are children involved. How children feel is so difficult with divorce, because they have no say in the matter. They want their parents to stay together, and don’t understand the complex nature of relationships that tears them apart.
Sometimes, divorce happens and it is the best solution for a couple or family. And there are some simple communication that should be in place for when that time comes. There should be a parenting plan in place that covers simple topics like how often you will communicate, religion child will follow, schools to go to, extra-curricular activity. There are a couple good books that talk more about this
- Beyond divorce casualties : reunifying the alienated family / Douglas Darnall.
- The Kazdin method for parenting the defiant child : with no pills, no therapy, no contest of wills / Alan E. Kazdin ; with Carlo Rotella
- Making divorce easier on your child : 50 effective ways to help children adjust / Nicholas Long and Rex Forehand.
Because divorce is a challenging life event, its important children feel like they have their parents support and emotional closeness. It’s important each parent help their child process their feelings and emotions.
Sometimes its hard to find the words to talk about with your children. It may be easier for them to draw a picture of how they feel, and then discuss the drawing with your kids. Ask them to explain their drawing and why they drew it.
A sample of some prompts adopted from the University of Michigan Extension:
1. What does divorce look like?
2. How does divorce make you feel?
3. Draw pictures of various feelings like anger, sadness and loneliness.
4. Draw a picture of your family (does not have to be blood relatives).
5. Draw a picture of the homes you live in.
6. If a genie could grant you one wish about your family, what would you wish for. Draw a picture.
7. Draw a picture of you before the divorce and after the divorce.
8. Draw a picture of me (parent) and you before the divorce and after the divorce.
It’s important to follow these prompts with a discussion about their feelings and attitudes. This can be a great activity to do daily or weekly with your kids. It helps encourage discussion, trust, and balance in their relationship. It can also help them identify their own feelings so they don’t put it out in other ways (hitting, tantrums, etc).
I’m also including a link to a fun activity to play with your kids to get them to understand and recognize their feelings:
Print drawings of children’s faces representing different emotions; glue them on a small box. Toss the box, like tossing a die. When it settles, read the feeling word for the face or have the child identify the feeling. You can ask them to describe a time they felt that way, or ask them to imitate the expression on the drawing.
Attaching a link to the activities page here: http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200611/BTJFoxSupplementalActivities.pdf