Divorce Groups for Children help kids to feel secure, teaches problem solving skills, increases self esteem, and encourages communication to help bring resolutions. Kids often have difficulty with the negative effects of divorce. The effects of separation can include difficulty with schoolwork, behavior problems at home and at school, and difficulty with relationships. Divorce groups for children provide kids with a way to express their feelings and work through the problems associated with those feelings. One tactic is to put kids together in a group who are experiencing a breakup in the home. As they interact with one another counselors guide the communication to where they begin to understand that there are other kids just like them going through the same thing. They are not alone. " Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3).
Little ones see parents upset and try to avoid the subject of divorce. Divorce groups for children give kids a place where they can be open with their feelings. Encouragement is given to communicate feelings. Activities are usually included in the sessions. The activities are fun and help a child to feel at ease. Every child reacts differently but with counselors working with him or her over time security and safety is developed. A child needs to feel safe and valued. When counselors work with the kids these are two important issues to remember. The truth is every person needs to feel safe and valued. If parents truly value the kids they will consider that effects of the divorce are troubling and find a way to instill safety and value.
Parents do not normally attend the sessions at first. Towards the end of the program parents are usually encouraged to participate in divorce groups for children. Bringing a parent into the sessions after a child is comfortable helps to open up communication between them. This gives Mom and Dad the opportunity to assure a child that the divorce is not his or her fault. In fact, the breakup is not about the kids at all but about the inability for two people to reconcile their differences and allow healing to take place in the marriage. Take a moment to pause and consider if there is even a small chance that reconciliation can take place. If there is a possibility of reconciliation then try to make it happen for the sake of the kids.
Artwork allows a child to draw what he or she is feeling. This helps manage emotions that have to do with divorce. Divorce groups for children provide kids with art supplies as a way to manage feelings including negative feelings like anger and loss of self-esteem. Sometimes the children are just so worried about the parents that they are focused more on them than anything else. Counselors may read books to young children that are all about helping them understand divorce. Counselors encourage parents to read the stories at home. There are usually books for older kids as well. Maybe a book about a child the same age who is struggling with the same types of feelings and how that child learned to cope with his parents divorcing.
Counselors who are dedicated to helping kids through divorce groups for children try to use age appropriate material when working with each one. One of the first things that can be done is to work on the anxiety and worry that kids feel when parents separate. A child may be experiencing separation anxiety for the parent who is missing. This is one reason why it is so important for both parents to be with the kids as much as possible. Thus, another reason why courts encourage joint custody. Being able to be with both Mom and Dad can help to alleviate some of the anxiety. Parents should work together in harmony when there are children involved. Take parental responsibilities very seriously. Give kids an example to follow that exhibits love and caring for others.
Long-term effects associated with divorce are not totally understood. Divorce groups for children are geared towards both short-term and long-term effects associated with parent separation. Children may seem to be resilient and adjust really well. This could have to do with the temperament of the child or the support that he or she receives during the process. Kids need to learn problem solving skills and how to think positive. The skills that are learned are considered life-long skills. This therapy helps to develop a cognitive understanding of how to cope. Therefore, kids can learn to use these skills everyday so that the long-term effects will be less.
A child's development level affects how he or she will respond to marital disruption. As a child ages he or she will form perceptions of the family unit. Divorce groups for children understand how age influences dependence on parents and siblings. Also, counselors are trained to help kids of every age learn to cope with changes. Younger children may respond better to treatment in shorter sessions where older ones may need longer sessions. Sometimes a child may need individual sessions at first. Eventually children will participate in games and activities that are set up to teach them to learn how to find solutions to various problems. When going through a divorce remember that you are not the only one who is hurting. Consider the little ones for they often have no voice when it comes to divorce.
Healing After Divorce For KidsIn most cases, healing after divorce for kids can be a complicated process lasting for decades. The main problem is that children tend to form allegiances to both parents, but a marital breakup makes them want to side with Mom or Dad. Additionally, some children blame themselves; therefore, parents need to exercise caution about sharing too many details. Both parents should assemble the kids and explain in terms easily understood why they felt the need to separate. Spouses should stress the fact that children are not to be blamed for an adult decision, and no one should be accused. Because children are not as adept as adults at hiding feelings, they may respond with anger and sudden outbursts. Parents should remain calm and try to diffuse anger if possible. When all else fails, allowing children time to sulk or express feelings of hurt, disappointment and rage may be the best course. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (I Corinthians 13:11).
To deter children from blaming a parent, mom and dad should be determined to present a unified front. Healing after divorce for kids may be easier if spouses refrain from accusations when addressing the children. Discuss what areas should be shared and which ones should remain confidential. Young children and teens don't need to know names, dates and places pertinent to a parent's acts of infidelity. By preserving a guilty spouse's integrity, even when the facts warrant being angry or upset, kids can still love the offending partner without condemnation. Remember: the offending ex-spouse, while no longer married, will always be a parent. It is unfair to penalize a mother or father by denigrating them in front of a child. Healing after divorce for kids will require cooperation from both parents. If arrangements are viewed as amicable though unfortunate, youngsters may have a better chance of rebounding from hurt and disappointment. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (I Corinthians 13:4-7).
Spouses should also bear in mind that minors and teens will have serious concerns. Issues to be addressed include custody and living arrangements, visitation rights, and changes in school enrollment. Older siblings may have to forego college if relocating to live with one parent; and relocating in itself can be disconcerting. While child custody cases may be settled in court and written in black and white; the implications of such cases are neither black nor white, but written in blood, sweat and tears. A marital breakup, no matter what the cause, is going to cost parents and their offspring a great deal. Unless parents reconcile, holidays, vacations, and everyday life will forever be changed; and only love and a determination to make decisions in the best interest of the children can lessen the pain of healing after divorce for kids.
To facilitate healing after divorce for kids, ex-spouses may consider soliciting the aid of experienced clergy or professional counselors and psychologists. A neutral third party can provide insight and help families deal with issues of separation. Many children of divorced parents are so emotionally distraught that they will begin acting out in school. Hitting or fighting with peers and playmates, disrupting classroom activities, skipping classes and being absent from school, using illegal drugs or alcohol, and hanging around the wrong crowd are all indications that youth and teens are troubled by the breakup. A child may require several months of counseling in the company of the custodial parent with a pastor or professional.
Ex-spouses should understand that children may not adjust easily to a disruptive lifestyle change like divorce. To a minor, losing a father or mother to marital breakup is similar to losing that parent to death. The breakup of the family and dismantling of all that is held dear to a child can have devastating effects. Healing after divorce for kids requires constant care and cooperation from both parents. Adults must take time to patiently help children work through emotions, and answer questions as honestly as possible, again without placing blame on the non-custodial spouse. Similarly, parents who are absent from the child's every day life must make every effort to spend quality time during visitations. Scheduled visits should be filled with fun activities, and not used as an opportunity to berate Mommy or Daddy. Holidays, vacations, and breaks from school can be used to rekindle parent/child relationships and provide as much normalcy as possible for children undergoing emotional healing.
As youngsters mature they should be better able to begin healing after divorce for kids. Parents should ensure that lines of communication remain open. Each spouse should contribute towards parenting the child even though absent. Unless a minor would be abused or mistreated, custodial parents should refrain from violating non-custodial rights of visitation, even if either of them remarry. If a step parent objects to having an ex-spouse visit in the home, arrangements should be made for court-ordered visitations in a neutral place. Making lifestyle changes to accommodate a child and help facilitate healing after divorce for kids can mean a great deal. Although a product of divorce, children can enjoy a wholesome, healthy life if ex-spouses, clergy, and professional counselors will invest love, time and concern.