If you want to move on after divorce emotionally, ask yourself these five questions to start assessing where you are now. If you skip the self-assessment phase, you risk making the same mistakes in your next relationship.
The post To Move on After Divorce, Start with Self-Reflection appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Figuring out how to survive and thrive after divorce is no easy task.
Divorce is a life event that completely shakes up your life and can leave you feeling like a shell of your former self.
It is not just the fact that your family is splitting apart, your living situation is changing, and your finances are taking a hit. Divorce also has a very real impact on your physical and mental health.
Here are some of the most significant ways divorce can impact your health.
When the body is stressed, it releases the hormone cortisol. Overexposure to cortisol can disrupt nearly every system in the body and can contribute to anxiety, heart disease, depression, digestive problems, and other issues.
According to a study published in Social Science & Medicine, ending a marriage can lead to a less healthy diet for men.
That is not surprising. A lot of guys might not have handled cooking duties while they were married. And after divorce, it is common to cope with comfort foods (who couldn’t use a night on the couch with some pizza and beer after a tough breakup?).
That nutritional decline can have serious consequences, however, as a lack of fruits and vegetables puts a person at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The chronic stress of divorce also can cause trouble sleeping. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is one of those things that can easily snowball. A lack of sleep leads to more stress, which makes it even harder to fall asleep, which causes more anxiety, and so on.
“In the sleep world, stress is to sleep as yin is to yang – opposite forces that are forever linked,” said Chris Winter, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center. “Stress prevents sleep. Sleep deprivation increases stress and its consequences.”
Fortunately, there are some practical steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene so that it is easier to fall asleep.
Depression goes hand-in-hand with stress and anxiety, so it should come as no surprise that many men struggle with depression after divorce.
The end of a marriage conjures a lot of emotional turmoil, and a lot of men are not equipped to deal with these mental health issues on their own. The situation is even worse if you were dealt an unfavorable child custody arrangement forcing you to spend less time with your kids than you would like.
Do not hesitate to reach out for help if you feel overwhelmed. A mental health professional can help you find a sense of stability and start to get back on your feet after divorce.
Research shows that excessive alcohol or drug abuse is the third most common reason for divorce. Divorce itself may pose a risk factor for addiction as a Medscape study found that getting a divorce increases the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder by almost sixfold in men.
Many guys try to cope with the heartbreak of their by numbing the pain with drugs or alcohol.
This is a dangerous road to go down. If substance abuse becomes your primary means of coping with what you are going through, you are veering towards addiction and should seek help immediately.
The post The Disturbing Ways Divorce Can Impact Your Health appeared first on Dads Divorce.
The road to divorce recovery is typically long and arduous. Family court is set up in a way that tends to breed conflict, making amicable breakups tough to accomplish.
Unfortunately, the divorce process tends to be even more challenging for men and fathers. So many guys end up with alimony and child support payments that bleed them dry financially and far too many fathers are left with unfavorable child custody arrangements that limit the role they play in their children’s lives.
The stress and emotional turmoil of divorce increases the physical and mental health risks men are exposed to – divorce increases the rate of early mortality by up to 250 percent.
One of the reasons divorce wreaks so much havoc is that many guys make avoidable mistakes throughout the process that compound the damage. Here are some practical steps to take during divorce that can go a long way toward minimizing the harm done and speed your divorce recovery.
Meet with an attorney ASAP
There is a multitude of free information and resources available on the Internet that can be very useful throughout your divorce. There are literally thousands of helpful articles here on DadsDivorce and our partner sites, MensDivorce.com and MensRights.com.
However, most of the information you find while researching divorce online is generalized because every case is unique. It is difficult to determine how the laws and legal statutes are going to apply to your specific situation. It is a major mistake to try to resolve your case without the guidance of someone more knowledgeable on the topic.
You may have an aversion to getting an attorney involved and might prefer to handle the case on your own, especially if you and your ex are splitting on friendly terms. The problem is that the divorce process can cause amicable relationships to turn bitter without the help of legal professional to sort through the messy and confusing details.
At the very least, meet with an attorney for an initial consultation, which comes at a nominal free and sometimes is even free. This does not require retaining the attorney and can provide valuable information as you determine the next steps to take in your divorce.
The cost of a lawyer can be pricey, depending on how issues there are to sort out, but hiring an attorney who focuses on men’s and fathers’ rights is an investment that can save you from additional costs, headaches, and heartbreak in the long run.
A certain amount of stress is unavoidable in most divorce cases. It ranks as the second-most stressful life event a person can experience. So keep in mind during your divorce that there are likely going to be days you feel completely overwhelmed.
Regardless of how messy your divorce gets, you can do yourself a huge favor by prioritizing taking care of yourself. That means eating right, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, and doing what you can to maintain your mental health.
If you reach a point where you do not know how to cope with everything that is on your plate, consider seeing a licensed counselor or therapist. Mental health professional can help you figure out strategies to manage your stress better than you ever though was possible.
One reason divorce recovery is such an uphill climb for many guys is that it is so expensive. The cost of attorney fees, alimony, and child support can wipe out your bank account, and it can take years to get back on your feet.
One of the reasons hiring a family law attorney is such a worthwhile investment is that they can help minimize the long-term monetary damage of your divorce. However, there also are some steps you can personally take to keep yourself afloat financially.
Come up with a realistic budget that you can stick to before, during, and after divorce that factors in all of your monthly costs and expenses. This will give you a clear understanding of the money you have coming in and where all your money is going to each month. Once you have a detailed budget put together, you can then determine whether you need to trim some expenses or find a way to bring in more income.
It also is critical to avoid any major purchases before your divorce is final. If you are in a dispute over child support or alimony, your wife’s attorney likely will take note if you were able to drop a bunch of money on a new car and that could decrease your chances of winning.
The post How To Minimize Divorce Damage And Speed Your Recovery appeared first on Dads Divorce.
Divorce has a way of impacting nearly every part of your life.
The costs of divorce – attorney fees, child support, alimony, and more – can wreck your finances. Depending on how the division of property goes, your living situation can drastically change. And worst of all, divorce can even change the amount of time you get to spend with your children.
With so much at stake, it is understandable if you start to feel stressed and overwhelmed. That can take a huge toll on both your mind and body.
It is critical to be proactive in taking steps to minimize the physical and mental strain of divorce so that you maintain your overall health.
Go to the doctor
Men face a number of increased health risks in the wake of divorce. The long-term consequences of the stress that comes with the divorce process can lead to some very serious long-term issues, some of which are even life-threatening.
In general, men seem less inclined to take care of their health, even when they are not going through divorce. Men are often more reluctant to go to the doctor, and that almost certainly contributes to a lower life expectancy than women.
At the very least, you should go in for an annual checkup, especially if you have a family history of certain ailments.
Your doctor can provide a roadmap to help lower your risk factor of developing serious conditions and help you deal with any preexisting conditions.
See a therapist
Looking after your mental well-being is every bit as important as taking care of your physical health. The emotional turmoil of divorce can create a spiral of anxiety and depression that seems unending.
When the stress seems overwhelming, there is no shame in asking for help. You might reach a point where it is beneficial to seek the professional guidance of a licensed mental health professional.
Some men might feel hesitant to open up about their feelings. Traditional views of masculinity emphasize the importance of toughness, fearlessness, and invulnerability to pain, but these unrealistic notions are counterproductive and prevent many men from seeking the help they need.
Not only will a therapist allow you to vent about what you are going through, but they are qualified to recognize the symptoms of depression and can determine the best way to treat the disorder.
Divorce is not the time to hold things in. That is only going to make things worse. A therapist can help you manage the negative feelings you are experiencing and help you get back on your feet.
Avoid bad habits
One of the factors contributing to the increased health risks men face during and after divorce is their propensity to fall into bad habits.
With so much stress and frustration, there is a natural temptation to try to drown your sorrows in a case of beer or bottle of liquor, but self-medicating with alcohol is a slippery slope.
Research shows men are more likely to binge drink during divorce. Not only is this a risky behavior health-wise, but it could potentially be used as evidence to paint you as an unfit father during your child custody case.
Another mistake a lot of guys make immediately after divorce is jumping into a rebound relationship too quickly and becoming a habitual dater. Starting a new relationship too soon after divorce makes it more likely that someone ends up hurt – whether that is you or the person you are dating.
You can find love again after divorce, but it is important to be responsible as you manage your dating life.
Negative emotions can lead to rash behaviors and bad decisions during the divorce process. Therapy can be a good solution to find support and to manage negative emotions during divorce.
The post Why Managing Negative Emotions During Divorce is Crucial appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
One of the greatest challenges divorced dads face is the process of rebuilding trust and maintaining a positive, healthy relationship with their children.
As a father, your children tend to look to you as a source of protection and stability. When they see their parents argue and then divorce, that secure foundation is rocked.
Depending on the age of your child, they might blame you for the divorce and side up with their mother. That can be even worse if your ex-wife engages in the process of parental alienation, which should be considered a serious threat to the child’s overall well-being.
The period immediately following your divorce is a critical time for your relationship with your kids. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, you might need to devote considerable time toward rebuilding a level of trust with them.
Here are several ways divorced dads can build back trust with their children.
Encourage open communication
It is important to be considerate of the emotional turmoil that your children have experienced and encourage them to talk about what they are feeling.
Repressing emotions is extremely harmful and can lead to long-term mental and physical health issues. Let your children know that it is OK to express whatever they are feeling. Be aware that this might mean you hear them talk about feeling anger towards you, but that is better than letting them harbor hidden resentment that festers.
Your children might not feel comfortable discussing everything with you. They might feel like that means they are taking sides with you or their mother. If that is the case, you should consider whether your kids would benefit from seeing a licensed professional therapist or counselor who can help them work through everything they are going through.
It is important to be considerate of the emotional turmoil that your children have experienced and encourage them to talk about what they are feeling.
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Be a good co-parent
The major dilemma children of divorce face is that they love both of their parents, even though their parents no longer love each other. Maintaining strong, healthy relationships with both parents is a challenge due to the inherent complications of divorce.
This is problematic because having two active and engaged parents is the best way to offset many of the risks children of divorce face.
With that being the case, the onus is on you and your ex-wife to put your personal differences aside in order to find a way to effectively co-parent. This involves swallowing some pride and acknowledging that your children are better off having their mother involved in their lives, even if she is a person who has wronged you.
Good co-parenting requires clear communication, flexibility, and cooperation. Co-parenting takes effort from both sides, so you only have so much control if your ex is particularly disagreeable. If that is the scenario you find yourself in, consider parallel parenting, which is a high-conflict co-parenting model.
If you have done everything you can think of to get your ex to cooperate with you and she is still starting arguments and failing to live up to her end of the deal in your co-parenting arrangement, you should contact your family law attorney. An attorney who focuses on men’s and father’s rights can determine whether there are any legal remedies available that could improve your co-parenting situation.
Always keep in mind that co-parenting is about doing what is best for your kids. That should give you more than enough incentive to find a co-parenting system that works.
You are now sharing custody of your children, which means it is critical to make the most out of the parenting time you do have. It is not enough to just spend time with your kids. You need to ensure that you are actively engaged and present every second you are together.
“Being present is really about how much of yourself you really give to your kids,” said Han-Son Lee, who runs DaddiLife, a website and community for modern dads. “We see a lot of parents who are sometimes on the phone and there physically in the same space as their kids but not emotionally or mentally there. I think being present is about really being there for our kids and making sure there aren’t those digital distractions and various notifications and beeps and buzzes so that way you can really be present in the time that is most necessary for Dad.”
This should not be an issue for most fathers. The latest fatherhood research tells us modern dads are finding new and creative ways to stay active in their children’s lives more so than previous generations of fathers ever did.
The post How Divorced Dads Can Reestablish Trust With Their Children appeared first on Dads Divorce.
Divorce is a tough process for everyone, but it can be especially brutal for dads. There are a number of societal, cultural, and legal factors that seem to conspire to make life for divorced dads difficult.
The good news is there also are some upsides to the divorced dad life, but there are some obstacles to overcome first. To get to that healthy place where you can enjoy your newfound freedom and quality time with your children, it is imperative to find a divorce attorney who focuses on fathers’ rights, whom you can trust to keep yours and your children’s best interests in mind.
If you are at the beginning of the divorce process, a divorce lawyer for men can help you understand what you are up against and figure out realistic goals you want to achieve.
Here are five of the biggest challenges divorced dads must face.
System that seems predisposed against them
The frustrating and sad truth that many dads discover is that at every turn, the family court system seems to be predisposed against fathers.
The shared parenting movement has gained a lot of momentum in recent years, as more courts are recognizing the importance of fathers, but the child custody statutes throughout the United States still do a poor job of promoting the equal involvement of both parents.
There still are too many gender stereotypes that stem from the traditional nuclear families of the 1960s, where the father supported the family financially while the mother stayed home to take care of the kids. This is unfortunate because society has evolved drastically and it is no longer safe to assume that the wife is taking on the primary domestic and childrearing responsibilities.
Data from the Pew Research Center shows that the employment rate of married mothers increased from 37 percent in 1968, to 65 percent in 2011. At the same time, an increasing number of dads are quitting their jobs and staying home to raise their children while Mom advances her career.
Not only are divorced dads less likely to get custody of their kids, but they also are more likely to get saddled with alimony and child support, which is a whole other challenge.
Many dads hit the pause button on their own careers for the good of their families and then feel shame about asking for alimony, even when it is deserved and necessary.
These double standards make divorce seem like a lose-lose proposition for many fathers. With so many factors working against you, it is especially important to get in touch with a family law attorney who focuses on men’s divorce. They will understand the unique challenges dads face during the divorce process and can guide you through the steps needed to take in order to ensure your rights are protected.
The frustrating and sad truth that many dads discover is that at every turn, the family court system seems to be predisposed against fathers.
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A broken child support system
Since divorced dads are less likely to gain primary custody of their children, they are thus more likely to be ordered to pay child support. In theory, child support would ensure all the necessary expenses required to raise a child are taken care of. The items your monthly payments can be used on should be limited to only those items that contribute directly to your child’s upbringing and well-being.
This is how the system ends up working for many fathers: They are given a monthly child support order that is based on their current income (or, in some states, that income is imputed, which is a whole other issue). However, life changes and a man’s employment is fluid, so perhaps that dad is laid off and temporarily out of work.
Just because he is unemployed, his child support does not automatically pause. He must file a motion to modify that order, which usually requires the help of an attorney – an additional cost for someone who already is struggling financially. The process is so confusing that a lot of guys do not even bother with it.
Child support arrears quickly start to snowball, and suddenly, there is a mountain of debt. If he falls too far behind, he can be sent to prison for contempt of court. While he is locked up, those child support payments keep coming, unless he acts to stop it. This crushing cycle goes on and on.
If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot afford your child support payments, it is critical to get in touch with a family law attorney as soon as possible to see what you can do to modify the order. The cost of the lawyer pales in comparison to the debt that can add up by failing to act.
Part of the reason that the child support system is so harsh on divorced fathers is because for years, there has been an overemphasis on collecting payments. The system priorities enforcement over fatherly involvement in children’s lives.
This punitive system is largely the product of the myth of the deadbeat dad. There is an assumption in society that there are a bunch of dads out there who are capable of making child support payments but refuse to do so. This stereotype originates from a 1986 CBS report that profiled a man named Timothy McSeed, who bragged about having six children who he refused to support financially.
While there certainly are irresponsible fathers, and mothers, out there, it is dangerous to generalize based on anecdotal evidence. Empirical data paints a much different story about dads in the child support system.
According to a U.S. General Accounting Office Report, 66 percent of all child support not paid by fathers is due to an inability to come up with the money. A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that most economically disadvantaged fathers still did what they could to provide non-monetary contributions, such as baby products, clothing, and food.
Cordell & Cordell Founder and Principal Partner Joe Cordell has been helping men and fathers through divorce and custody issues for more than 25 years, and he says it is wrong to paint with such a broad brush.
“I know most of these men are not bad people; they love their kids, they want what is best for their kids, they want to be there for their kids,” Mr. Cordell said.
Dads frequently are the butt of jokes in marketing campaigns and often relegated to the second-string parent. Just a couple years ago, Amazon sparked an online protest for naming its parent-focused program Amazon Mom instead of the more inclusive Amazon Family. Old Navy also sneered its nose at dads two years ago with the release of this Father’s Day T-shirt that read “It’s Father’s Day,” but with the words “It’s Her Day” bolded.
Popular culture also tends to treat fathers as bumbling doofuses. The images of Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin would lead you to believe dads are crude, unintelligent brutes capable of little more than lounging on the couch and annoying their wives.
However, the emerging field of fatherhood research shows that modern dads are finding unique and creative ways to emotionally engage with their kids more than ever before. These fathers are doing a lot more than providing financial support. An enormous part of their identity centers on their roles as fathers, and they are committed to doing whatever possible to make sure their children’s emotional needs are met.
Tougher to find a support group
For a number of reasons, recovering from divorce is harder for men than it is for women. The emotional devastation of the divorce process hits everyone, but men and women mourn the end of relationships differently and research shows guys take longer to get back on their feet.
One of the primary reasons for this is that men tend to get more of their identity from their spouse. Couples usually share the same social circle, and when the relationship ends, their friends usually choose sides. Often, the guy will feel like his friends are abandoning him and it can be tough to develop a support group.
There also is a stigma against men displaying any sort of emotional vulnerability, which can lead to a harmful suppression of emotions and feelings. If you are struggling with divorce, do not try to be a tough guy. The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale lists divorce as the second-most stressful life event behind only the death of a spouse or child.
There is a natural tendency to shut down in the wake of divorce. It is tempting to wallow around in your apartment with beer bottles and pizza boxes strung all over the place, but this is not the road to divorce recovery.
Reach out for the help that you need. If you cannot find support from friends and family, contact a licensed therapist or counselor.
All the stress that is thrown at dads during the divorce process often ends up having an impact on their overall health.
Not only are there health risks in the present, but men face an increased risk of developing long-term problems. Divorce increases the rate of early mortality for men by up to 250 percent. Other studies have shown greatly increased rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, suicide, substance abuse, and cancer.
It is so easy to get caught up in the financial and familial challenges that divorce presents, but the physical health problems that can develop are just as important. Understanding these risks can help you take action, so that your chances of developing any problems are mitigated.
Cultural and societal factors devalue the importance of self-care for men. Just take a look at all the self-care sites on the Internet. They are largely focused on the needs of women. Meanwhile, men are much more reluctant to go to the doctor for regular check-ups, which likely contributes to their shorter life expectancy.
“Men are naturally looked at as strong, impenetrable and pride-driven creatures who build their worth on how much the can ‘bear’ or handle, so it’s perceived by many men as weak for needing to take care of themselves or take downtime that doesn’t make them seem lazy,” Eliza Belle, a psychologist who focuses on men’s health, told Mel Magazine. “[That’s why] it’s taken society a long time to outwardly recognize the need for male self-care.”
Although you have a lot on your plate, it is essential to carve out time for daily exercise, even if it is just a brisk 15-minute walk around your neighborhood. Exercise is proven to fight against depression and many other health issues, and is a great way to clear your head and make sure you stay in the right frame of mind.
It also is key to make sure you are eating healthy. This can be difficult if your wife did most of the cooking, but you need to take the time to meal prep and avoid eating pizza and fast food every night. This is doubly important when your kids are with you because proper nutrition is vital to their healthy development.
Children of divorce are forced to adjust to so many dramatic changes. As difficult as your divorce might be for you, at least you have the prospect of starting your life anew and escaping an unhappy relationship.
Children of divorce must reconcile the fact that their parents do not love each other anymore. Sometimes, one parent will demonize the other and attempt to engage the child in parental alienation, a serious threat to the child’s well-being.
On top of all that, children of divorce must deal with a new living situation, new routines, potentially a new school, and much more. Divorce turns their entire world upside down and puts them at risk for many different negative life outcomes.
All these changes can result in behavioral problems that can lead to larger issues if they are not addressed. How your child responds to your divorce can vary depending on their age, but here are some common behaviors to look out for that might indicate they are struggling and need more help.
Of course, the best way to make sure your child has a healthy adjustment to your divorce is by ensuring that both you and their mother remain actively involved in their life. Shared parenting is proven to be the best post-divorce arrangement for children.
With that in mind, the impetus is on you to do everything you can to make sure you receive a fair child custody decision and the best way to achieve that is by making sure you have a family law attorney fighting for fathers’ rights in your corner who will keep your child’s best interests in mind.
Some children of divorce tend to shut down, especially in social settings. In situations where they used to be lively and active, they suddenly appear shy and timid. This might be because they are feeling depressed.
It also is common for otherwise friendly children to suddenly start acting overly aggressive with their peers. This could be because they are hurt by your divorce and struggling to come to terms with those feelings of anger.
Keep an eye on your child when they are around other children. Ask close friends, family members, and your child’s teachers to be on the lookout for unusual behavior, so you can address the problem before they develop into a larger social issue.
Another common problem children of divorce often deal with is trouble sleeping. This is understandable considering the amount of stress they are under.
In addition to all the heartache of seeing their parents break up, they are trying to adapt to new routines and a new living situation. You and your ex need to work together to co-parent and establish regular routines as much as possible. Regular times to do homework, eat dinner, and get ready for bed can go a long way toward ensuring your child gets plenty of shuteye.
If your child persistently fails to get enough sleep, the problem could snowball into trouble at school and lead to other health issues.
Loss of appetite
Some kids struggling to adjust to their parents’ divorce will experience a loss of appetite. This is important to be on the lookout for because a proper diet and nutrition is critical to a child’s healthy development.
Make sure you plan ahead and prepare healthy, balanced meals for your child. (Teaching them how to cook also is a great opportunity for bonding time with Dad.) If your child tries to push away their plate, set rules so that they must eat finish their veggies before moving on to another activity.
What you can do
The most important thing you can do as a dad is be observant and conscious of how your child is acting so that you immediately recognize any abnormalities. Communicate with your child and encourage them to speak up about how they are feeling both physically and emotionally.
If you notice persistent problems in their behavior, it might be worth seeking the help of a licensed counselor or therapist. You can ask your family law attorney if they have any recommendations as it is common for them to have working relationships with mental health professionals.
Research tells us that children of divorce face many risks. It is a major challenge for kids to cope with the drastic change that is inevitable after their parents split and that adjustment is even tougher if they are exposed to the conflict of divorce.
How children of divorce respond to news of their parents’ split can also vary wildly depending on their age. Your 4-year-old toddler is probably going to take the news of your divorce a whole lot differently than your 15-year-old who is about to get their driver’s license.
Below you will find an age-by-age guide walking you through how children are likely to respond to your divorce. You also will find tips for how you can help ease this difficult transition for them.
No matter your child’s age, the best thing you can do to ensure a healthy adjustment after your divorce is ensuring that they have a strong and loving relationship with both you and their mother. Unfortunately, that is not always possible if your child custody order pushes you out of the picture. That is why it is so important for you to find a family law attorney who focuses on men’s divorce and protecting the rights of fathers.
As soon as it is apparent that your marriage is heading for divorce get in touch with a divorce lawyer for men, so that you have an advocate in your corner looking out for the best interests of both you and your child.
Toddlers (18 months to 3 years)
The cognitive ability of toddlers is very limited, which makes divorce very confusing.
They also have yet to develop the coping skills needed to adjust to such a dramatic life change. That leaves them particularly vulnerable to emotional problems later in life.
The younger a child is, the more self-centered they are and the more likely they are to personalize your divorce, meaning they may end up feeling like your divorce is their fault. When a toddler’s parents divorce, it is not unusual to see them regress and return to behaviors such as thumb sucking and bedwetting, and they might struggle sleeping alone at night.
Easing the transition: As much as possible, work to establish a predictable routine that is easy for your child to follow. Focus on spending plenty of time with your child and offer extra attention anytime you notice them acting scared or lonely.
Be patient with your child if they show any behavior problems. Keep in mind how confusing this adjustment is for them and show compassion and empathy anytime they act out or express sadness about the situation.
Preschoolers (3 to 6 years)
It is difficult for a preschooler to grasp the concept of divorce and they will want their parents to stay together regardless of how unpleasant the home environment is.
Children in this age bracket might be more likely to believe they are the reason their parents are separating. Feelings of anger and fear about the uncertainty of their lives are common.
Easing the transition: Children this age tend to reflect whatever moods their parents are in, so try to handle your divorce in a positive and respectful manner.
Although your preschooler will probably be too young to fully understand what is happening, you still need to be there to talk to them and answer questions they might have.
There also are children’s divorce books written for preschoolers that can help them relate to what is happening.
How children of divorce respond to news of their parents’ split can also vary wildly depending on their age.
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School-age children (6 to 12 years)
Since school-aged children are a little older, they might have gotten used to the nurturing environment you raised them in. Now that their parents are suddenly splitting, it is natural for them to experience fear of abandonment.
How much your child understands about divorce still will vary depending on how old they are.
Kids ages 8 and younger are less likely to grasp what is happening and more likely to blame themselves for their parents’ breakup.
Children age 8 to 11 are prone to blaming one parent in particular and choosing sides. Boys often lash out aggressively against siblings or classmates, and girls tend to withdraw and become anxious or depressed.
Easing the transition: Since your child is likely struggling with feelings of loss and rejection during your divorce, you need to focus on establishing a sense of security for them and rebuilding their self-confidence.
The best way to do this is by makings sure both you and your ex-wife spend plenty of quality time with them and encourage them to discuss their feelings. Reinforce that neither of you are abandoning them and that the divorce is in no way their fault.
As with the younger age groups, a steady routine can go a long way toward helping your school-age child adjust after your divorce. Regular times to eat, do homework, and go to bed are critical.
It is important to help your child maintain a healthy social life, so encourage them to get involved in extra-curricular activities they have interest in. This is a great way for your child to rebuild their self-esteem and connect with other kids their age, rather than withdrawing from the world.
If you notice persistent unusual behavior from your child in the wake of your divorce, regardless of their age, it might be worth enlisting the help of a professional counselor or therapist. They can gain valuable insight into what is going on with your child and can help give you the tools you need to guide them through this difficult transition.
Teenagers (13 to 19 years)
A child’s adolescent and teenage years are developmentally crucial, and a parental divorce has the potential to disrupt their maturation and harm the relationships they build as adults.
At this age, your teenager is more likely to understand the complexities of divorce, but teens also tend to be more judgmental and are quicker to assign blame.
Teenagers are often intelligent and might seem like adults, which causes many parents to make the mistaken assumption that they are more mature than they actually are. Science shows their brains continue developing until age 25 or 26.
Easing the transition: Just because your teenager appears mature, do not use them as a confidant during your divorce. That throws more pressure on them than they deserve.
Avoid insulting your ex in front of them as it is important for their development to have loving relationships with both you and their mother.
Offer to let your teen vent whenever they need to and encourage them to be honest about what they are feeling, even if that means they end up expressing anger towards you.
Take steps to establish a wider support network of family, friends, and teachers so that your child knows they have plenty of loved ones behind them. Sometimes it is easier for them to open up to someone other than a parent.
The post An Age-By-Age Guide For Helping Children Through Divorce appeared first on Dads Divorce.
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
- Why Don’t Divorced Dads Turn To Each Other For Support Like Divorced Moms Do?
- Marital Compatibility: It’s About More Than Being “In Love”
- Vital Takeaways from Jeff Bezos’s High-Net-Worth Divorce
- Can Narcissists Really Move On Like Nothing Happened?
- Texas Court Includes Father’s Personal Injury Annuity in Resources When Calculating Child Support