27 June, 2009

Helping Children Cope with Divorce

Helping Children Deal with Feelings of Grief

Problem: A divorce is one of the most devastating thing to happen in your children’s lives. They need to grieve over the loss but often need encouragement for how to express their sadness.


1. Give each child a journal. They can write good news, sad thoughts, lists of accomplishments or anything they like. Reassure them that the journal is for their eyes only.

2. Mark regularly got his boys together and gave them paper and pencil. Each would write down his angry feelings, sad reflections, and any other unhappy emotions. Once the slips of paper were filled, the children threw them into a Pyrex dish, lit a match, and burned the bad feelings away.

3. Consider letting your child see a therapist. You can suggest he/she visit the therapist at least 2-3 times to get a sense for how therapy might be able to help. After that, they can choose whether to continue. Reassure them that many people (perhaps even yourself) find it helpful to have a trusted person to talk to at times like these. If money is an issue, many communities have clinics or therapists who offer counseling on a sliding scale based on need.

4. Let your children talk to a trusted religious advisor.

5. Ask a friend or relative to set up a regular confidential chat with your child. Cathy asked her sister Lisa to act as a confidante to her daughter Casey. Lisa would take Casey out for ice cream and go on walks with her. And everything they discussed was confidential. Cathy trusted her sister to have Casey’s best interests at heart, and it was easier for Casey to confiding in someone who was not her mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment