When there is a divorce in a family, possibly no one suffers more than the children. One of the reasons children have such a difficult time dealing with divorce is the infighting that often happens between the spouses and families. Another difficult time is when a child's parent remarries into a new blended family. Ultimately, each family member, whether by blood or through marriage, has to work together and remain mature for the sake of the children. Here are some ways the family can help a child through divorce:
Maintain a Culture of Respect
A family will not thrive if there is no respect among one another. To help build a respectful culture, try to arrange some one-on-one time with different family members as often as possible. This is particularly helpful in cases of step-parenting. A short outing every so often can help develop positive relationships.
Children of divorce will experience a range of emotions as their lives change. Children may have some outbursts or feelings of sadness that will not go away. Be patient with children during these behaviors. Allow the child to vent to you and other members of the family about their feelings. Do not take the position of trying to fix the problem, but instead remain a sounding board.
Another way to grow in your new family situation is to start new traditions. You could come up with some different activities or rituals you can do as a new family to help foster new traditions. Doing so will not only give the children something to look forward to, but also help further develop the new family dynamic and heal wounded relationships. Building new traditions will take some time, and there may be some trial and error until you get to something you can all enjoy. Once you do, however, be sure to stick to it.
Work as a Team
Whenever there is conflict in a family situation, you all need to sit down and work it out without the children present. Sadly, children are often a witness to the fighting and negativity. You all need to put a stop to any animosity so you can all move forward. If you are in the habit of badmouthing other people in your child's life, stop doing it right away. If you have a problem with that person, you need to address it face to face to end the turmoil for your child.
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