Emotional Reactions

How to listen to your children

Divorce and separation brings many challenges and changes to children’s lives. During this time, one of the most important skills you can possess is being a good listener. Give children your full attention when they are talking to you This means turning off the television or stop putting away the groceries. Sit down and make…

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Acceptance

While separation or divorce is a unique experience for each family, most find that after some time has passed, life eventually begins to feel more “normal.” When this happens, you may discover that life no longer feels like an emotional rollercoaster and that transitions between the two homes have become easier. How and when families…

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Depression

When going through the process of separation and divorce, it is quite normal and expected to feel depressed or intensely sad. For most parents and children, these feelings will diminish over time. However, if you find the sadness is persistent or becomes worse for either you or your children, you should seek professional help. Generally,…

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Bargaining

Bargaining is often experienced as a time when you may consider reconciling or giving the relationship a second chance. Children, however, may buy into the idea that they have the ability to bring Mom and Dad back together. During this stage, you or your partner may: Consider couples therapy or counseling Try to reconcile or…

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Anger

Anger is a normal and understandable reaction to divorce for both parents and children. You may not feel well equipped to deal with this emotion; however, how you manage the anger for yourself and with your children is critical. Key factors in successfully dealing with this stage involve recognizing the feeling and then finding some…

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Denial

The idea that life is changing can often be very overwhelming for children. Because of this, they may be reluctant to acknowledge the divorce or separation as real. Parents usually go through a similar process by distancing themselves from or denying the reality of the situation. For some parents, this stage can also manifest itself…

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What to expect

As life changes for you and your children, it’s normal to experience a significant sense of loss and grief over that loss. Divorce ranks second only to death regarding the level of stress it generates in a person’s life. Even though the whole family goes through the transition at the same time, it is likely…

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