DEALING WITH GRIEF 34 – Encouragement

A word of ENCOURAGEMENT!

The Hebrew word TRUST:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart … know Him in all your ways.

The Hebrew word for trust is “bittachon”, from a root word batach that means “to lean upon,” to feel safe and secure.

“Bittachon” describes emotional acceptance of the goodness of the LORD.

Some of the teachers have said that while emunah,or “faith”, represents a state of understanding that GOD is intimately involved in all the events of the universe, bittachon means personally trusting that the LORD is present in every situation for your good.

Rabbi Bechaya put the distinction this way: “Everyone who trusts has faith, but not everyone with faith trusts.”

Bittachon is an intuitive awareness of the Personal Love of GOD for your life, coupled with complete trust that He cares for you (Romans 8:28). It is an expectation that the Love of GOD is “I-AM-always-with-you,” too.

The Greek word ANXIETY:
Where it is written, “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7), the word translated “anxiety” (merimna) comes from a Greek verb (merizo) that means to be fragmented or divided into parts and pieces. We bring our brokenness to GOD — including even those distractions that tear us away from Him and that tend to make us inwardly fragmented — in order to receive GOD’s Healing Care for us.

Therefore choose to regard your brokenness as an invitation to come before GOD for healing. Never let it keep you from coming to the LORD for help!

We are not to be ignorant of satan and his devices … despite our many sins, frailties, and even our own inner ambivalence, we know that GOD Alone makes us whole and He is the True Lover of our souls.

The Spirit always cries out for you: come … it is my prayer and hope that each of us will draw near to GOD for life.

May the LORD GOD heal you, body and soul … may He ease your pain, increase your strength, and release you from all your fears. May blessing, love, joy, and true shalom surround you and fill you in the Love of Jesus our Savior.

AMEN!

Credits – Amanda Buys

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DEALING WITH GRIEF 32 – Divorce And Children cont’d

Normal reactions to separation and divorce

Although strong feelings can be tough on kids, the following reactions can be considered normal for children.

😖Anger. Your kids may express their anger, rage, and resentment with you and your spouse for destroying their sense of normalcy.

😳Anxiety. It’s natural for children to feel anxious when faced with big changes in their lives.

😞Mild depression. Sadness about the family’s new situation is normal, and sadness coupled with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness is likely to become a mild form of depression.

It will take some time for your kids to work through their issues about the separation or divorce, but you should see gradual improvement over time.

Red flags for more serious problems.

If things get worse rather than better after several months, it may be a sign that your child is stuck in depression, anxiety, or anger and could use some additional support. Watch for these warning signs of divorce-related depression or anxiety:
🙁Sleep problems
🙁Self-injury, cutting, or eating disorders
🙁Poor concentration
🙁Frequent angry or violent outbursts
🙁Trouble at school
🙁Withdrawal from loved ones
🙁Drug or alcohol abuse
🙁Refusal of loved activities

Discuss these or other divorce-related warning-signs with your child’s doctor, teachers, or consult a child therapist for guidance on coping with specific problems.

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 31 – Divorce And Children cont’d

Helping children cope with divorce … work with your ex

Conflict between parents — separated or not — can be very damaging for kids. It’s crucial to avoid putting your children in the middle of your fights, or making them feel like they have to choose between you.

Rules of thumb

Remember that your goal is to avoid lasting stress and pain for your children. The following tips can save them a lot of heartache:

👍🏾Take it somewhere else. Never argue in front of your children, whether it’s in person or over the phone. Ask your ex to talk another time, or drop the conversation altogether.

👍🏾Use tact. Refrain from talking with your children about details of their other parent’s behavior. It’s the oldest rule in the book: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

👍🏾Be nice. Be polite in your interactions with your ex-spouse. This not only sets a good example for your kids but can also cause your ex to be gracious in response.

👍🏾Look on the bright side. Choose to focus on the strengths of all family members. Encourage children to do the same.

👍🏾Work on it. Make it a priority to develop an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse as soon as possible. Watching you be friendly can reassure children and teach problem-solving skills as well.

The big picture

⭐️If you find yourself, time after time, locked in battle with your ex over the details of parenting, try to step back and remember the bigger purpose at hand.

⭐️Relationship with both parents. What’s best for your kids in the long run? Having a good relationship with both of their parents throughout their lives.

⭐️The long view. If you can keep long-term goals — your children’s physical and mental health, your independence — in mind, you may be able to avoid disagreements about daily details. Think ahead in order to stay calm.

⭐️Everyone’s well-being. The happiness of your children, yourself, and, yes, even your ex, should be the broad brushstrokes in the big picture of your new lives after divorce.

Helping children cope with divorce … know when to seek help.

Some children go through divorce with relatively few problems, while others have a very difficult time. It’s normal for kids to feel a range of difficult emotions, but time, love, and reassurance should help them to heal. If your kids remain overwhelmed, though, you may need to seek professional help.

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 30 – Divorce And Children cont’d

Your own recovery

If you are able to be calm and emotionally present, your kids will feel more at ease. The following are steps you can take toward improving your own well-being and outlook:

⏏️Exercise often and eat a healthy diet. Exercise relieves the pent-up stress and frustration that are commonplace with divorce. And although cooking for one can be difficult, eating healthfully will make you feel better, inside and out — so skip the fast food.

⏏️See friends often. It may be tempting to hole up and not see friends and family who will inevitably ask about the divorce — but the reality is that you need the distraction. Ask friends to avoid the topic; they’ll understand.

⏏️Keep a journal. Writing down your feelings, thoughts, and moods can help you release tension, sadness, and anger. As time passes, you can look back on just how far you’ve come.

You’ll need support
At the very least, divorce is complicated and stressful — and can be devastating without support.

🔴Lean on friends. Talk to friends or a support group about your bitterness, anger, frustration — whatever the feeling may be — so you don’t take it out on your kids.

🔴Never vent negative feelings to your child. Whatever you do, do not use your child to talk it out like you would with a friend.

🔴Keep laughing. Try to inject humor and play into your life and the lives of your children as much as you can; it can relieve stress and give you all a break from sadness and anger.

🔴See a therapist. If you are feeling intense anger, fear, grief, shame, or guilt, find a professional to help you work through those feelings.

You will surely come through victorious and a great help to others😀

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 28 Divorce And Children cont’d

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How much information to give

😶Especially at the beginning of your separation or divorce, you’ll need to pick and choose how much to tell your children. Think carefully about how certain information will affect them.

😐Be age-aware. In general, younger children need less detail and will do better with a simple explanation, while older kids may need more information.

🤔Share logistical information. Do tell kids about changes in their living arrangements, school, or activities, but don’t overwhelm them with the details.

😯Keep it real. No matter how much or how little you decide to tell your kids, remember that the information should be truthful above all else.

Helping children cope with divorce … listen and reassure.
👪Support your children by helping them express emotions, and commit to truly listening to these feelings without getting defensive. Your next job is reassurance — assuaging fears, straightening misunderstandings, and showing your unconditional love. The bottom line: kids need to know that your divorce isn’t their fault.

👶🏾Help kids express feelings.

👧🏽For kids, divorce can feel like loss: the loss of a parent, the loss of the life they know. You can help your children grieve and adjust to new circumstances by supporting their feelings.

👦🏽Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.

🧒🏽Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk.

🧑🏽Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let them know that whatever they say is okay. If they aren’t able to share their honest feelings, they will have a harder time working through them.

👩🏾Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.
Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 27 Divorce And Children cont’d

What to say and how to say it
 
😪Difficult as it may be to do, try to strike an empathetic tone and address the most important points right up front. Give your children the benefit of an honest — but kid-friendly — explanation.

😌Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but long-winded reasons may only confuse them. Pick something simple and honest, like “We can’t get along anymore.” You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.

❤️Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way, from fixing their breakfast to helping with homework.

❇️Address changes. Preempt your kids’ questions about changes in their lives by acknowledging that some things will be different now, and other things won’t. Let them know that together you can deal with each detail as you go.

☹️Avoid blaming.

🌞It’s vital to be honest with your kids, but without being critical of your spouse. This can be especially difficult when there have been hurtful events, such as infidelity, but with a little diplomacy, you can avoid playing the blame game.

🤗Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce — and stick to it.

👍Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur. And plan to talk when your spouse is present, if possible.

✅Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 26

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Children and Divorce – Helping Kids Cope with Separation and Divorce

For children, divorce can be stressful, sad, and confusing. At any age, kids may feel uncertain or angry at the prospect of mom and dad splitting up. As a parent, you can make the process and its effects less painful for your children. Helping your kids cope with divorce means providing stability in your home and attending to your children’s needs with a reassuring, positive attitude. It won’t be a seamless process, but these tips can help your children cope.

A parent’s guide to supporting your child through a divorce

🛑As a parent, it’s normal to feel uncertain about how to give your children the right support through your divorce or separation. It may be uncharted territory, but you can successfully navigate this unsettling time — and help your kids emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong.

🛑There are many ways you can help your kids adjust to separation or divorce. Your patience, reassurance, and listening ear can minimize tension as children learn to cope with new circumstances. By providing routines kids can rely on, you remind children they can count on you for stability, structure, and care. And if you can maintain a working relationship with your ex, you can help kids avoid the stress that comes with watching parents in conflict. Such a transitional time can’t be without some measure of hardship, but you can powerfully reduce your children’s pain by making their well-being your top priority.

What I need from my mom and dad — a child’s list of wants

🌞I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please text me, write letters, make phone calls, and ask me lots of questions. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t really love me.
🌞Please stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on matters related to me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
🌞I want to love you both and enjoy the time that I spend with each of you. Please support me and the time that I spend with each of you. If you act jealous or upset, I feel like I need to take sides and love one parent more than the other.
🌞Please communicate directly with my other parent so that I don’t have to send messages back and forth.
🌞When talking about my other parent, please say only nice things, or don’t say anything at all. When you say mean, unkind things about my other parent, I feel like you are expecting me to take your side.
🌞Please remember that I want both of you to be a part of my life. I count on my mom and dad to raise me, to teach me what is important, and to help me when I have problems.

Helping children cope with divorce…what to tell your kids

When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents freeze up. Make the conversation a little easier on both yourself and your children by preparing significantly before you sit down to talk. If you can anticipate tough questions, deal with your own anxieties ahead of time, and plan carefully what you’ll be telling them, you will be better equipped to help your children handle the news.

Credits – Amanda Buys