Healing after a divorce can be a lengthy process, and it begins with the parent. Children have the ability to survive the experience with few scars if their parent stabilizes themselves first. Here are suggestions you can apply to the healing process to unfold for both the parent and their child.
Finding a support group
Your child will heal if you get strong and healthy first. The group you join should offer encouragement and coping skills. It should provide the camaraderie you require so that your children are not forced to become your counselor or comforter. That role is unhealthy for your child, and it eventually compounds his or her pain.
Communicating the truth
Explain to your kid that they are not the cause of the divorce. Make it clear that this was between you and their dad. Reassure your daughter that both parents love her unconditionally. If your child’s age allows, you can tell them the entire truth. Failing to discuss everything openly will make your child question your honesty even on other issues.
Making changes slowly
Give your kid an opportunity to adapt to the new family structure. It is hard enough that they lost one parent, but if they still lose their family members, familiar sounds and sights at home, friends, school, and neighbors, it becomes more traumatic. Some of the adjustments may be necessary, but prevent as many as you can.
Allowing your kids to be kids
Conversations about visitation days, family problems, finances and other common difficult issues should not be known by your kid. Don’t use your child to pass information because you will end up putting them right at the center of the disputes. Your goal should be to protect and preserve the child’s innocence.
Don’t allow self-imposed guilt caused by the situation to hinder you from becoming the diligent parent you were. Remember that trials and perseverance help in building character. Chores, healthy boundaries, and consistent discipline will enable your child to feel safe.
Wait before dating
It is good to wait for about 2 years before you can get involved in another relationship. This provides an opening for you and your family to heal completely. This will help in modeling the personal integrity of your child. You are also vulnerable so involving yourself in a new relationship sooner can cause more confusion and hurt for everyone. You can choose to focus on other things like your career or your children.