Your divorce is a life-changing event for your kids and it is important they get some positive life lessons out of it. So even though it’s extremely challenging for you to deal with stress during the divorce, you need to think of your kids’ happiness in the first place.
You, as a parent, need to find a way to mitigate the negative effects of divorce and help your child/ren adjust to the situation.
In this article, we will talk about the life lessons you can teach your kids while going through tough times in your life.
- Remember the good things
Couples divorce for a reason. You’ve decided to leave your partner because something is wrong with your relationship. Probably, your partner is toxic, abusive, or unfaithful. However, it doesn’t mean that your marriage was a totally bad thing. I can bet you can remember the days when you were happy with your partner. Probably your happiness didn’t last long, but there were good things in your married life, and you should never forget about that. Remembering the good is a key to maintaining a good relationship with your ex-partner and effective co-parenting after divorce. Show your kids how important it is to let go of resentment and focus on positive things. Help them understand that if they change their attitudes toward the situation, they will change their lives for the better.
- Avoid abusive relationship
You are a role model for your kids. And for this very reason, you should never tolerate disrespect from toxic people, whether they are relatives, friends, or colleagues.
Are you a victim of a toxic relationship? You need to get a divorce as soon as possible to ensure that your son and daughter will not copy your behavior and will not end up in an abusive relationship in the future.
You should teach your children one important lesson: they should never allow other people to treat them poorly. You can teach your kids to understand that they must end relationships with people who make them feel unhappy in whatever life situation.
- Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help
While going through the divorce, you will likely ask your friends, family, and other people for help. And that will be an excellent lesson for your kids. You will show them that they shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for assistance when they need it. They will understand that whatever happens in life, they will be able to get support from other people.
- Acknowledge negative emotions
Don’t try to convince your kids that “nothing bad has happened” and don’t put a fake smile on your face. Let your kids experience what they feel. Let them be upset and be angry at you. Let your kids cry – it’s important for their social and emotional development.
The thing is that if your kids bottle up the negative emotions during the divorce – that will lead to adverse consequences in the long run. It may affect the emotional wellbeing of your kids and result in mental health issues in later young adult years.
You should show your kids that you acknowledge and accept their anger, sadness, and frustration. You need to explain to your kids that they should express their negative emotions in a healthy way rather than try to suppress them.
- Live without regrets
Whatever other people say, you should convince your children that your relationship with another parent wasn’t a mistake. Thanks to this relationship, you have become a parent, and it means that your marriage was worth experiencing all the ups and downs. You have no regrets about your married life, and you should teach your kids to live without regrets.
- Be grateful
Your children are the greatest gift you have ever received, and you are grateful for it, aren’t you? Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive feelings that can transform the mind and life. Teach your kids to be grateful for everything they have in life. Show them how important it is to appreciate little things. It will be the best lesson they can learn from you.
- Changes are inevitable
We live in an ever-changing world. Technologies are constantly developing. Prices are increasing. New fashion trends are emerging. And even the life of our family can change one day.
Once your kids understand that some changes are inevitable, it will become easier for them to navigate through uncertain times. They will develop an ability to adjust to any life situation. Ultimately, it will help them to achieve outstanding success in adult life.
- We can’t control everything
Pretty often, kids blame themselves for the divorce of their parents. You need to assure your kids that they have nothing to feel guilty about and explain the actual reasons or why you and another parent cannot stay together.
Your task here is to make your kids understand that they can’t control everything that happens in their lives. And they shouldn’t be angry with themselves because something bad happens. They need to accept the situation the way it is and find a way to get it through.
- Empathy is important
After the divorce, your kids will become more empathic. They will have a better understanding of other people’s feelings and will learn to express their sympathy. They will become better supporters for their friends and family members. It will make their lives more fulfilling, meaningful, and enjoyable.
Be there for your kids when they need you the most
Divorce affects your kids more than it affects you and your partner. So try to focus on helping your kids rather than making war with another parent. Teach your kids important life lessons, and do your best to ensure that they will have a happy future.
Linda Ferguson is a writer and editor with a background in psychology. Currently, she works as an online editor-in-chief for a helpful site for high schoolers and college students. Linda strives to help teenage kids improve their writing skills, so they can maximize their study efforts. When Linda has free time, she volunteers at a local pet shelter.