Make your child (ren) feel more secure during and after divorce.
Of all the parties involved, divorce seems to hit children the hardest. Everything in their world changes. Most often children take on the blame for the divorce. They also develop this fear that one of their parents will fall away and sometimes the parent they stay with, relocates. Leaving the only home the child knew can cause intense feeling of insecurity. However, there are ways to lessen the impact and make your child feel more secure during these changes.
Try these tips:
Have a discussion:
Your kids need to understand why mommy and daddy are not together any more. Use language that they will understand. There is no need to share the gory details, they will put the puzzle together eventually. In this case time is your friend. They also need to understand that you will always be there for them.
Don’t be late:
It is crucial to always be on time at least for the first two years after divorce. Imagine this 5 or 6 year old little girl or boy waiting near the school gate crying, not sure where mommy or daddy is. They are thinking mommy or daddy has left me too…
Give your child a “safe” word, so that when you can’t be on time and someone else picks them up, they know this is a safe person to get in a car with.
Keep your children’s routines the same as much as possible.
During the first year of divorce try to stick to your and their routine. If bed time was 20h00 keep it the same. Bed time is great to create “talk time” so that you can discuss the day but also ask the how they feel and perhaps reassure that they will be fine. I would also be very beneficial if the same routine is kept at the ex-spouses home, when the children are visiting.
Go out of your way to attend their school functions like “go-cart day” or “entrepreneur’s day”. Some kids just feel comfortable when you are there next to the rugby or soccer pitch even if you know absolutely nothing about the sport.
Keep your problems to yourself.
You are grown up and they are not! If you want to preserve your friendship with your kids when they are older take the 5th amendment when it comes to discussing their mom or dad in a bad light. Rather find a friend to talk to or make an appointment with a counsellor if things become too hard to handle yourself.
Give your children love, attention, and discipline.
If you can’t figure out the love part, then get help. Don’t compromise on the rules and boundaries. There is a sense of security in having consistent rules, including consequences of negative behaviour.
Make sure the child has access to both parents.
Your children didn’t divorce their parents. The child should know how to reach the non-custodial parent when they need reassurance or feel lonely. One of the toughest things that you will have to do as a divorced parent is to encourage your children to go with your ex even though they don't want to.
As a mom who in all likelihood have never been in a fist fight…don’t tell your child not to hit back when they get punched. The bullying will not stop.
1. This is a school issue and you should discuss what happened with your child and then take the issue to the school principal.
2. Understand the definitions of bullying that is defined in the school rules.
3. Insist that the other parents are notified of the incident and that it is documented.
4. Empower your child. This is a difficult one, you can try the “nice guy” approach but I don’t really think a bully listens well, what they do understand is equal treatment.
5. Go back to the school if there is another incident. Document it again.
6. Your child should warn the bully once and that is it! From there your child has the right to protect or defend him or herself.
7. Make sure your child is not the bully.
Make sure you get help and support for your children if you feel that they are not coping with the break up.
Think Smart - Live Smart!