Children often feel or actually are voiceless when their parents divorce. It is a highly emotional time for parents, and kids sometimes become part of the fabric of the conflict as each parent decides what he or she thinks is in the best interests of the children.
There are some parents who can continue to parent their children and maintain a civil, if not friendly, relationship with the person from whom they are disengaging the rest of their life. For those who cannot, it appears children have a great deal to say about this. If and when they do tell you what they think, it is a good idea to really listen to some of the words of wisdom they have to offer. Here are some examples based on Cooperative Parenting & Divorce Parent’s Guide (Boyan & Termini, 1999).
The Divorce Bag is a way for children to process their feelings about divorce by getting them to think about themselves, their feelings, and the people around them. By adding a different item each topic, they can process information about the divorce and uncover coping mechanisms within themselves until they have a completed bag.
The first item for the bag is a plastic animal, which the child chooses as a representation of himself/herself. The child could describe characteristics of the animal that s/he also sees in themself. This can be a way to uncover how the child views themself and what s/he thinks about themself during the divorce.
Parenting after divorce takes patience, cooperation and collaboration. It’s not uncommon for one parent to notice behavior differences in their children when they return from a stay with their other parent. This can be extremely frustrating or irritating, especially if your values and parenting style doesn’t match that of your former spouse.
What can you do to remedy the situation? Try having a conversation about how inconsistencies affect your children after divorce – and see if you can come to a better understanding.
Consistency in parenting creates the smoothest transition after divorce – and in the years that follow. If the rules previously established in your home are still followed by both parents after the divorce, the children are likely to more easily adjust to the new transitions in their life. In families where Mom and Dad dramatically disagree about significant parenting decisions, the consequences can be disturbing and sometimes dangerous. Differing values regarding discipline, curfews, homework, eating habits, after school activities, etc. can create confusion in your children and major conflicts between Mom and Dad. Children can pay the price emotionally – and are also likely to take advantage of the parental rift in many destructive ways. When they play Mom against Dad everyone looses and the kids especially lose the security and continuity of effective parenting.
The red heart is added to the bag as a reminder of the people the child loves and as a reminder that people still love him/her, even when s/he may think that they do not. This can provide the child with a sense of love and security and help reiterate that no matter what happens between the parents, they will always love him/her.
Is the trauma children typically experience when divorce occurs in the family due to the divorce itself or other factors that surface around the divorce between the parents?
To a marriage and family therapist, this is an important question. If mental health professionals know specifically what it is about the process of divorce in the family that is traumatic for children, the trauma can be lessened to a great degree by addressing the specific factor(s) that children who experience divorce in the family are confronted with.
Many children experience the process of divorce in their families. During the 1970s and ’80s, the pop psychology was that parents should not stay together for the sake of the children. The theory was, “If the parents aren’t happy, the children will not be happy.” While that is most likely true, research has shown that there are, in fact, traumatizing effects that divorce can have on children.
However, the divorce itself does not appear to be the only factor that is traumatic for children when the divorce process takes place. Other factors, such as not seeing one of the parents as often, the parents transitioning into new relationships, changes in the socio-economic status of the family, and the constant transition from one parent’s house to the other parent’s house can also be difficult adjustments for children who experience divorce.
The child is asked to share something positive about themselves. After s/he shares something, a rock or bead will be placed in a small bucket/cup. The goal is to encourage the child to say enough positive things about themselves for the bucket/cup to overflow, then the child gets to add the overflow rocks or beads to the bag. This helps reinforce that there are good things within and about the child, even when s/he may feel like there are not.
This engaging story and collection of therapeutic activities helps very young clients cope with divorce. Cory, the central character in the story, helps children gradually confront and process their feelings and reactions related to the divorce. Includes a reproducible story, activities, and detailed parent handouts. Ages 4-8. Get it for less at www.lianalowenstein.com
The “Feeling Person” is an outline of a person on a sheet of paper with four feelings written next to it (i.e., mad, sad, afraid, and a feeling of the child’s choosing). The child then chooses a different color to represent each feeling. The child then colors with the colors on the body where s/he feels each of the feelings.
Welcome to I Am A Child of Divorce. We’re glad you’re here. On this site you will find resources and a community dedicated to helping children to understand and heal from their parents’ divorce or separation. http://iamachildofdivorce.com/
A small stone is used in the divorce bag to represent the places the child feels safe and that act as a “rock”for him/her. The child can use this to remember that, during the divorce, there are places the child can go to in order to feel safe, physically, psychologically, and emotionally.
A blank puzzle is provided for the child to write things about his/her family on. They can then take it apart and put it back together to show that although the family may look different, it is still there and will be there when the child needs them.
A foam luggage tag with a ribbon, to attach it to an overnight bag is also part of the divorce bag. This can be used for the child to write the items s/he needs to take to mom’s on one side and the items they needs to take to dad’s on the other. This can help the child break down what can be an overwhelming experience into manageable, less scarey pieces.
I decided to make Phee a little lovey necklace for Monday morning of week two. I made it quickly in the hopes that having pictures of mom and dad readily available all day would help her feel better. When the necklace was finished and she had it on Sunday night, Doug and I both talked to her about how she’s never really alone- we’re always with her. And when she wears her necklace, she can see us both and be reminded that we love her and we’re thinking about her.
Welcome, you’ve reached the professional website for Dr. Craig Childress, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in treating children and families. My specialty areas of focus include the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD-spectrum issues, treating excessive child anger and defiance, resolving marital conflicts, early childhood psychotherapy, and assessing and consultation for Parental Alienation Dynamics.
A small girl’s bond with her beloved pet helps her handle the disruption of her parents’ divorce. She has to sleep in two different beds in two different homes, but wherever she goes, her dog, Fred, stays with her. He does make trouble–barking at the poodle that lives next door to Mom’s house, shaking mud all over her car seats, eating Dad’s socks–but when the grown-ups object, she is adamant that she will never let him go. Kids will enjoy the simple, first-person narrative and the playful art, in shades of brown and red, that shows the mayhem Fred causes and the power he gives the child because he will never leave her.
Being a parent isn’t easy, even during the best of times. It’s not possible for even the most optimistic person to be sunny and cheery all the time — and everyone experiences occasional feelings of negativity. Too much negativity, however, can have a detrimental impact on your children and may even cause long-lasting, harmful effects.
The changes that come with divorce can be difficult for a girl. In this book, American Girl answers girls’ letters about every aspect of divorce, from the initial split-up to a parent’s remarriage. The book includes quizzes and tips, plus advice from girls who’ve been there and have wisdom to share. – See more at: http://towardthestars.com/Product-A_Smart_Girl_s_Guide_to_Her_Parents__Divorce:_How_to_Land_on_Your_Feet_When_Your_World_Turns_Upside_Down_(American_Girl)-2056.html#sthash.9s0rCWGJ.dpuf
To a child, the divorce of their parents can be likened to a tsunami that strikes their lives and leaves destruction and havoc in its wake. Nothing is ever the same again. The divorce will affect the child for many years to come.
I invite you to just take a moment and focus your attention on your heart center in your body. Imagine all of the people, pets, memories, and other significant things resting here. They are being carried with you during your days, helping to make you who you are. Just thinking and being reminded of this can help calm us and help us make decisions according to what matters most to us.
Divorced But Still My Parents is a textbook, workbook and storybook for children ages six through twelve. Based on the grief recovery model, this guide gently encourages boys and girls to understand the feelings caused by the parents’ separation, and gives them specific strategies to cope. Parents can read Divorced But Still My Parents along with their children, and support the acceptance of changes in the family structure.
The divorce process is riddled with many trials for parents during a time when they are struggling to redefine their relationship with their former spouse as well as helping their children adjust to the new family circumstance. Discipline often poses a significant challenge to parents who are already emotionally exhausted and attempting to steer their children between two different households. That being said, effective discipline with consistent limits and expectations can help parents establish a stable, structured and secure environment.
Ages: 4-10. This book is a self-esteem book about dealing with shared custody. This “upside down” book tells the story of a young girl and how she handles the challenges of living in two places. On every other page, she tells us about a problem she had, and when the reader flips the book over, the next page tells how she solved the problem. In addition to holding the interest of children, the action of turning the book upside down will help them realize that they can take charge of the problems that occur in their lives and find practical solutions that will help them feel “grounded” again. Told with humor and sensitivity, this child’s feelings and concerns echo those of most children of divorce.
Every family is different and each child’s experience is going to be different. Even children in the same family are going to experience the divorce differently. We can’t “tuck” the messiness of divorce and the immense emotions felt by each child into categories or stages.
A kaleidoscope is a visual aid to remind students that things are changing all the time. The way we handle change is all about the way we look at it. Change can be good and in some instances beautiful. While making the kaleidoscope, we can discuss, “What things have changed in your life as a result of this change?” and “How have you changed as a result of this change?” “What are some things you do to help when you are feeling upset about this change?”
Creating a supportive environment for your children as a divorced parent can be a challenge, especially if you are co-parenting with an ex-spouse who is not cooperative or supportive. Keep doing your best to create a supportive, happy home life for your children.
When you’re getting a divorce, there are just some things that no amount of self-help books can prepare you for, like how jolting it is to walk into your house after your ex has moved out, or that “is this real life?” feeling that inevitably comes when signing the divorce papers.
Children and teens deal with a lot of different problems when their parents divorce.
Use this set of task cards to help them learn how to handle their problems in a positive manner. This set contains 32 unique situations. Each card includes 3 possible solution to solve the problem.
If I could only have one book to use for counseling purposes, this would be it. This book is extremely versatile. It can be used for any type of separation, loss, group counseling termination (great way to end a group), intake (learn a lot about a child) and identifying ones’ support system. The premise of the book is that we are all connected by an invisible string. Even though it is invisible, you can feel it with your heart. Everyone has an invisible string, and it can reach anywhere, even heaven. The book’s message is that no one is ever alone, even when their loved one is not physically present.
(Grades 2-6) Otis used to have the perfect family. That all changed when his parents told him that they were getting a D…D…D… The D Word he cant even say it! At first Otis blames himself. With the help of his Gram, Otis discovers the reasons why people get divorced. He also learns about the Three Cs of Divorce: I didnt CAUSE it I cant CONTROL it, so Im going to have to learn to COPE with it! This book offers both children and adults the tools and insights that are needed to effectively deal with the difficult challenges that a family goes through when parents get divorced. Softcover, 32 pages.
We all know body language has a subconscious effect on how others perceive us, but did you know it also affects how we think about ourselves? It turns out that helping your kids feel more confident and powerful—emotionally, behaviorally, and physiologically—could be as simple as a change in posture.
I guess Rob and I are in the minority when it comes to our co-parenting skills. After he decided that Sarah could live with me full-time, we became focused only on what was in the best interest for her. And I guess this is rare. It seems crazy that this is rare because you would think that both parents would put their children first but they don’t.
This flower is a great way to identify the supports a young or older child has. Using the metaphor of a flower, talking about coping skills is non-threatening. This 1 page worksheet/ activity includes a spot for coping skills, social support and positive self-talk. This could be adapted to be created with construction paper if the time allows.
Invite him to your kids’ sporting events. Likewise, inviting your ex to your son’s lacrosse game or your daughter’s gymnastics competition doesn’t just say “I think you should be there,” it says “We want you to be there.”
When my husband and I returned from a trip, we brought each of our children a small gift. My first child opened his gift and was so excited we thought of him. He disappeared for hours to play with it. My next child set aside the gift focusing her attention on hearing every detail about our experience. My 3rd child could also care less about the gift or our stories, and only wanted to physically sit in our lap. They each felt our love in different ways.
When Rosie’s parents tell her they are divorcing, she wonders what she can do to keep them together. She tries being her cheeriest self, giving them the money in her piggy bank, keeping the house clean, and getting good grades, but none of her plans work. By the time her parents separate, Rosie is sad, frustrated, angry, disappointed and confused. One day she blows up at her best friend in school. As a result, she visits the school counsellor, and joins a group of children with divorced parents who meet and share their feelings, experiences, and helpful ideas. By the end of the year, Rosie has learned many good answers to the question, “What can I do?”.
Divorce is an unhappy fact that affects many children’s lives, and the story told in this book was written for those little boys and girls. Its message can help soothe their feelings and make them understand that their parents’ separation is in no way their fault. Parents who are divorcing will also value Mom and Dad Glue as a story they can read to their children and help them realize that although their parents’ marriage has not worked out, Mom and Dad love them today, as they always have and always will.
This unique awareness scrapbook/journal is designed for children in stepfamilies to work on with their parents, stepparents, foster or adoptive parents, grandparents or step-grandparents, or other concerned adults. Working together, children and adults can learn about their new family situations through drawing, pasting, writing, and filling in blanks. This book can also be used by therapists, counselors, and teachers to help children and their various families resolve conflicts and open up new ways of understanding and relating.
While your teen is busy trying to exert independence, parents still need to lay some ground rules to make sure that both parents stay involved in their child’s life. The key is to have a mutual understanding between you and your teen. In other words, take your teen’s life seriously and he or she will take both parents seriously as well. by: Dr. Kay Sudekum Trotter
I wrote them down and would refer to them if I ever needed a gentle reminder for myself. Not that they are in anyway the fix all to any problem, but here are 5 little thinkgs that help put things in perspective for me in order to help make this co-parenting things a little easier.
Kids deal with a lot of tough questions and situations when dealing with divorce. These cards help get students talking. Can be used in either individual or small group counseling, this set of 48 “Talk About It” Cards asks students to reveal their thoughts and feels about their own divorce and the 32 “Share Your Advice” Cards allows students to role play and discuss various situations around divorce. Also included are several blank cards to make your own questions.
Inside Out taught us that sometimes feelings don’t quite know how to handle situations, just like when my daughter expresses her frustration by saying or doing things unintentionally. She related to each character and after the movie we talked about different times each emotion made her behave a particular way. It was much easier for her to talk about feelings when thinking about the characters from the movie. Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness slowly became part of her journal entries.
As a mom of an adopted child that has a hard time recognizing and expressing negative emotions, I am all about finding ways to talk about emotions with my children, so I really am looking forward to checking out this new movie with her. We have an emotion wheel that we use when discussing her day, and she has a journal that she has to write in each night to help her determine how her day went and what emotions she experienced, but I am always looking for other ways to discuss emotions with not only her, but with my younger two as well. After seeing the fun facial expressions on the Inside Out Plush Dolls and in the movie trailer, I started thinking that it would be neat to create a game that the kids could play on the gloomy, rainy days that we’ve been having. After a bit of brainstorming I came up with this fun Emotions Mix-Up Game.
Mom or Dad’s House is a workbook to help kids whose parents are going through a divorce. Through therapeutic art and writing exercises, kids can get their feelings out, learn how to deal with those feelings in appropriate ways, and build their self-esteem. Designed for kids aged six to 16, this workbook is meant to be used as a counseling tool to foster healthy coping strategies and a positive self-image as kids adjust to their new family situation.
In this classic guide to preventing & overcoming parental alienation, Dr. Warshak helps parents shield children from the crossfire of divorce and separation. – See more at: http://www.warshak.com/divorce-poison/#sthash.AdEoVaMt.dpuf
Zoe and Evan Stern know firsthand how it feels when your parents divorce. When their parents split they knew their lives would change but they didn’t know how. A few years later, when they were 15 and 13 years old, they decided to share their experience in this positive and practical guide for kids. With some help from their mom, Zoe and Evan write about topics like guilt, anger, fear, adjusting to different rules in different houses, dealing with special occasions like birthdays, adapting to stepparents and blended families, and much more.
As the divorced couple tries to untangle the dense knot of their shared life—around children, house ownership, finances, pets, possessions, friends, appliances, and daily routines—they remember the marriage’s good qualities, just as people will forget about a toothache when they’re at the dentist’s door.
They realize that the financial toll of divorce can be devastating, from lawyers to the establishment of two new households. Just think about it: you’ll need a new television, frying pan, dish towels, vacuum cleaner…. It adds up.
Ted’s parents are divorced, but that’s just one fact about him. The fact that he has named his elbows Clyde and Carl? Or that Ted walks around with soap in his hair and likes to squawk like a chicken on the phone? Now, that’s definitely weird.
As shown in this lighthearted yet heartfelt account, life with divorced parents isn’t always easy, but above all Ted knows he’s loved—and there’s nothing weird about that at all.
This pdf activity book is colorfully illustrated and offers kids activities to complete in addition to answering basic questions they might have about their parents’ divorce. This pamphlet offers very basic information to educate and help kids dealing with these difficult circumstances.
Born out of a series of workshops that combined research on how communication impacts brain development with Mary Hartzell’s thirty years of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, this practical and accessible book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.
(Daniel J. Siegel, Mary Hartzell, Tarcher 2004)
Demetrius and Paula Ogglebutt have problem parents who never agree about anything and play childish tricks on each other. After calling a meeting at school for anyone with problem parents, the beleaguered brother and sister discover they are far from alone. Join Demetrius and Paula as they orchestrate the perfect solution for their bickering parents, proving that divorce can be a good thing for all concerned–not least of all the kids.
1. She is working too much. She’s expected to do too much around the house for a child her age. It’s a burden for her. In that case, lighten her load.
2. She is not working enough. She’s become “spoiled” so that work is cramping her style. In that case, I’d cheerfully add jobs to her list. Not only does she have to do the extra pots, she can do the next meal’s dishes all by herself.
3. She doesn’t understand. She doesn’t understand or embrace the connection between her contribution to the home and the blessing it is to you and her family. You might need to help her grasp the gift that it is to her family.
It’s the rare divorcee who shares child custody with an ex without worrying about said kids’ emotional fallout. But a new study, published Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, may help put some of those fears to rest. The findings suggest that children are mentally healthiest when they are able split their time between both divorced parents.
Befriending Your Ex challenges many of these destructive myths about divorce, and sets out to change the way we think about the process of divorce and its ultimate outcome. While divorce certainly can have negative effects upon children, when they occur, these effects are likely to result from a hostile and combative relationship between ex-spouses.
Look at maps to see how cities, towns, and neighborhoods are designed. Notice how houses, stores, and factories are generally in areas or zones. Look at maps in your local telephone book, at city hall, or in the library to see how grids of squares make it easy to locate points on a map.
While some couples may stay together to raise their children, slightly more than 40 percent of first marriages in America end in divorce, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Many of those marriages involve children, who may be confused or angered by the situation. It’s important to include your children in the healing process of a divorce, offering them encouragement to talk about their feelings and their fears. Children will experience their own version of divorce and may mistakenly blame themselves; help them understand and process the real reasons behind what has happened and deal with their feelings. By Erin Monahan
In a simple question-and-answer format, this book is a valuable tool for helping children cope with divorce. It gently explains what divorce is, why parents divorce, how to adjust to new living arrangements, how to handle feelings, and other basics to help children understand what’s happening in their lives. With honesty and simplicity, the authors help children realize that divorce isn’t their fault, strong emotions are okay, and families can survive difficult changes. Written to and for kids, this book is also recommended for parents.
A divorce is never an easy process. It is a taxing ordeal on both spouses, and if there are children involved, their feelings need to be considered as well. Children will experience a wide range of emotions when dealing with a divorce, such as anger, confusion, fear or guilt. It will be stressful for them and they may not comprehend exactly why it is happening. It’s a time of vulnerability and stress when you’re going through a separation, which can make it seem like an even more difficult task to respond to your child’s needs while already shouldering the weight of a divorce.
I was 10 when my parents told me that they were getting a divorce. It’s not like it was a huge surprise or anything. The writing had been on the wall for a long time. But somehow it was still a huge shock to the system when they finally told me the news. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. I felt guilty — like it was my fault that it had happened. I felt hurt, angry and betrayed. I felt very sad. I was confused. I had so many questions and things that were really worrying me but I couldn’t find the words I needed to talk to my parents about any of it.
In a question-and-answer dialogue format, the authors tackle the concerns hidden behind what kids say and provide suggestions for dealing with those problems, whether they be feelings of blame, desertion, or a child’s hopes for reconciliation.
There’s nothing better than seeing a giant smile on your child’s face!
Packed full of quotes, doodles, coupons, and thoughts, this small book of stickies create a big impact on happiness. Packaged in an innovative sticky note format, Instant Happy Notes offers 101 mini-messages of joy.
Self-adhesive and perforated, these notes can be peeled off one at a time and posted anywhere — mirror, door, TV, car window, desk. They can also be personalized with a note from mom or dad.
The reasons for your divorce or break up are between you and your spouse, but even if you try to keep infidelity under wraps and your divorce is not front page headlines, it still has an impact on your kids. Even if you don’t tell your kids about the infidelity, they are likely to find out if they are old enough to understand, simply by overhearing arguments between parents or conversations you have with other people. Kids react in individual ways, but the following reactions are almost universal.
Imagine that your child has a friend over for a play date. They are busy playing together, when suddenly your child’s Lego structure gets knocked down. From your child’s facial expression, you see that she is about to explode. You catch her eye and give her the signal. Then she darts away to her “calm zone,” where you hear her counting down from five, while going through five yoga poses for kids. There’s a break of silence, and then after a little bit, your child comes back down to resume play. You look at each other and wink.
Amber Brown loves the holidays. But this year, the season is bringing big changes. Amber’s dad has moved back to New Jersey, which means shared custody. Soon Amber feels as if half of her belongs to her mom and half of her belongs to her dad. Amber decides that she needs to claim something for herself, and when the topic of ear-piercing comes up, she knows just what she’s going to do! After all, don’t her ears belong to her? Full of all the fun, humor, and realistic dialogue that Paula Danziger’s famous for, this is a winning entry in the ever-popular series.
Many parents have asked us about how to raise a child or children with a co-parent (whether a spouse, former spouse or unmarried partner) who is “high-conflict.” In other words, the co-parent frequently exhibits some or all of the following:
• preoccupied with blaming others (often those closest to him/her, like the child or the other parent – or both)
• extreme behaviors (like yelling, hitting spouse or child, making false allegations, spreading rumors, hiding money, and so forth)
• all-or-nothing thinking (solutions to problems have to be all their way; they see some people (including themselves) as all-good and others (including you) as all-bad; may see one of his or her children as all-good and the other as all-bad)
• unmanaged emotions (screaming, crying, pleading) – but some don’t show this.
If you are a parent who is asking this question, it is very important to avoid being accused of “bad-mouthing” the other parent, by speaking negatively about him or her to the children and providing too much information about adult issues, such as a court case. On the other hand, you want to protect your children from the blaming and uncontrolled behavior of the high-conflict co-parent, and to provide the children with coping skills and help them not blame themselves.
Broken Promises is a workbook to help kids cope with a parent who isn’t always there for them. Through therapeutic art and writing exercises, kids can get their feelings out, learn how to deal with those feelings in appropriate ways, and build their self-esteem. This workbook is meant to be used as a counseling tool to foster healthy coping strategies and a positive self-image.
Emotions and feelings can be hard to understand when you’re young. Which is why I loved bringing my girls to see Inside Out not once, but twice. We’ve done some fun Inside Out recipes and lots of fun activities sheets but I decided to dive a little deeper into emotions with my oldest daughter because she is also going through lots of changes with growing up. So I created an Emotions Wheel to help teach her about different emotions with the help of Inside Out characters to explain them.
Read more at http://jamonkey.com/inside-out-emotions-wheel-printable/#eLALPZtWHLRAcuG5.99
Room for Rabbit by Roni Schooter is a really beautiful book about divorce a little while after the initial break up. In it Kara’s dad has remarried and now new anxieties and feelings of not having a place in this new marriage have cropped up. This book is a lovely and in depth look at feelings that accompany what happens when one parent remarries after a divorce. The target is preschool but the text is pretty lengthy for kids under 5. I would be tempted to read and edit for length if need be. The illustrations by Cyd Moore and story are great even if the text is a little long for the intended audience.
Our neighbor says red is angry like a dragon’s breath, but you think it’s brave like a fire truck. Or maybe your best friend likes pink because it’s pretty like a ballerina’s tutu, but you find it annoying — like a piece of gum stuck on your shoe. In a subtle, child-friendly narrative, art teacher and debut author Jessica Young suggests that colors may evoke as many emotions as there are people to look at them — and opens up infinite possibilities for seeing the world in a wonderful new way.
This game is super cute and really easy to put together. It’s the perfect party game for Inside Outenthusiasts! The kids LOVED playing it. It’s ideal for younger kids that are still getting a grasp for what emotions are and how to behave when they feel certain emotions.
Being a step-anything is a tough role. In most cases you are walking into a child’s life who is already a bit older. For a child who has already grown up with biological grandparents, the new relationship can be intimidating. Kids aren’t the only ones who are intimidated: step-grandparents are treading on uncharted territory and have a lot to figure out.
It is no secret that separation and divorce is difficult for everyone involved. It is a time of stress and anxiety and children often have many questions. Children often become anxious of the unknown and often question “What’s going to happen to me?”, “Where am I going to live?”, “Who am I going to live with?”. Depending on a child’s age, this transition to their new normal may prove to be quite difficult and upsetting.
Inspired by the book: Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook. This activity can be used with the book or as a stand alone. Teach children to identify worries that are in their control and not in their control, ask for help when needed, and put their worries away when they are not needed.
This invaluable companion to The Care & Keeping of You received its own fresh update! The Feelings Book will help you understand your emotions, and deal with them in positive ways. You’ll get tips on how to express your feelings and stay in control, plus get sensitive advice on handling fear, anxiety, jealousy, and grief. Learn how to stay in the driver’s seat of your own emotions!
A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator.
Is your child stuck in the middle of a high-conflict divorce? In Getting Through My Parents’ Divorce, two psychologists and experts in parental alienation offer a fun and engaging workbook to help kids work through stressful or confusing emotions and feel safe and loved—no matter what.
Children of Divorce–Coping with Divorce (CoD-CoD) is an internet-based mental health promotion program for children of divorce ages 11 and up. It takes a child approximately one hour per week over a 5-week period to complete. The program is designed to promote the development of four divorce-specific protective factors that have been identified through previous research.
All children are capable of extraordinary things. There is no happiness gene, no success gene, and no ‘doer of extraordinary things’ gene. The potential for happiness and greatness lies in all of them, and will mean different things to different kids. We can’t change that they will face challenges along the way. What we can do is give them the skills so these challenges are never able to break them. We can build their resilience.
To watch a child grieve and not know what to do is a profoundly difficult experience for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Yet, there are guidelines for helping children develop a lifelong, healthy response to loss.
In When Children Grieve, the authors offer a cutting-edge volume to free children from the false idea of “not feeling bad” and to empower them with positive, effective methods of dealing with loss.
If you are a separating parent who learns your child is bullying at school, here are some specific tips to help you remedy the situation:
If your separation includes high levels of conflict with the other parent, find ways to reduce the conflict.
Help your child learn productive ways to express anger.
Clarify that even though the family is going through a lot of changes, you will not tolerate bullying or mean-spirited behavior of any kind. Believe it or not, children of all ages find security in clearly set limits.
Stay actively involved in your child’s school activities.
Make your child a priority during the separation.
On the other end of the spectrum, any child who is feeling anxious or vulnerable because of changing family circumstances can be a potential target for bullying. Bullies identify the most vulnerable and insecure kids in their peer group to pick on. Children who are upset or withdrawn because their parents have separated — especially if they’ve had to move and change communities or schools — are quickly identified by bullies as easy marks.
A Separation in My Family is a creative, child-friendly program designed for use with elementary school children, filled with illustrations and original exercises to foster healing, self-understanding, and optimal growth.
This activity teaches kids how to identify whether something is within their control or not, which can be useful for kids with anxiety, anger, lack of focus, motivation, or other social & emotional concerns. There are 3 separate sets of instructions for individual counseling, small groups, and developmental guidance lessons. Check out the preview to see a visual of the 3 different ways this resource can be used.
This column tells a story based on a composite of real-life situations intherapy to represent both teen and parent viewpoints on anger and guilt in families during divorce. The characters are fictitious and were derived from a composite of people and events.
Play therapy helped us figure out how our daughter was grieving and processing the changes in her life. Play therapy helped my daughter learn how to express her struggles and learn new strategies to handle anger and sadness. Play therapy helped my ex and me with parenting techniques to support her. I could go on ad nausem of how helpful play therapy has been for us, for her.
At a loss for a place to start with art therapy? Go to the source, and draw a picture of your heart – literally. Fill in the shape with images of the things you desire, dream of, and love.You can find photos, or simply assign a colored section to each corresponding desire. However you do it, your heart will be full both literally and figuratively by the time you finish this exercise.
Approximately fifty percent of marriages in the United State fail. Add to that the increasing number of couples who never marry, have children together, and later go their separate ways. In all of these scenarios, children suffer greatly—often in silence, as parents do not know how to effectively guide their kids. When the sorrow and emotional issues of children are not addressed, the cycle of divorce is likely to continue for them and in generations that follow.