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

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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

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Learning important lessons from a divorce or breakup.

In times of emotional crisis, there is an opportunity to grow and learn. Just because you are feeling emptiness in your life right now, doesn’t mean that nothing is happening or that things will never change.

Consider this period a time-out, a time for sowing the seeds for new growth. You can emerge from this experience knowing yourself better and feeling stronger.

In order to fully accept a breakup and move on, you need to understand what happened and acknowledge the part you played. It’s important to understand how the choices you made affected the relationship. Learning from your mistakes is the key to not repeating them.

Some questions to ask yourself:
❇️Step back and look at the big picture. How did you contribute to the problems of the relationship?
❇️Do you tend to repeat the same mistakes or choose the wrong person in relationship after relationship?
❇️Think about how you react to stress and deal with conflict and insecurities. Could you act in a more constructive way?
❇️Consider whether or not you accept other people the way they are, not the way they could or “should” be.
❇️Examine your negative feelings as a starting point for change. Are you in control of your feelings, or are they in control of you?

You’ll need to be honest with yourself during this part of the healing process. Try not to dwell on who is to blame or beat yourself up over your mistakes.

As you look back on the relationship, you have an opportunity to learn more about yourself, how you relate to others, and the problems you need to work on.

If you are able to objectively examine your own choices and behavior, including the reasons why you chose your former partner, you’ll be able to see where you went wrong and make better choices next time.
Credits – Amanda Buys

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DIVORCE CONT’D – Self-care tips:

😌Make time each day to nurture yourself. Help yourself heal by scheduling daily time for activities you find calming and soothing. Go for a walk in nature, listen to music, enjoy a hot bath, get a massage, read a favorite book, or savor a warm cup of tea.

😌Pay attention to what you need in any given moment and speak up to express your needs. Honor what you believe to be right and best for you even though it may be different from what your ex or others want. Say “no” without guilt or angst as a way of honoring what is right for you.

😌Stick to a routine. A divorce or relationship breakup can disrupt almost every area of your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy.

😌Take a time out. Try not to make any major decisions in the first few months after a separation or divorce, like starting a new job or moving to a new city. If you can, wait until you’re feeling less emotional so that you can make better decisions.

😌Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or food to cope. When you’re in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to do anything to relieve your feelings of pain and loneliness. But using alcohol, drugs, or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential to find healthier ways of coping with painful feelings.

😌Explore new interests. A divorce or breakup is a beginning as well as an end. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past.

😌Making healthy choices: Eat well, sleep well, and exercise.
When you’re going through the stress of a divorce or breakup, healthy habits easily fall by the wayside. You might find yourself not eating at all or overeating your favorite junk foods. Exercising might be harder to fit in because of the added pressures at home and sleep might be elusive. But all of the work you are doing to move forward in a positive way will be pointless if you don’t make long-term healthy lifestyle choices.

You are fighting from the victor’s side🤗🤗

Credits – Amanda Buys

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Tips for grieving after a breakup or divorce:

🙄Don’t fight your feelings — It’s normal to have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions, including anger, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, and confusion. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process.

🙄Talk about how you’re feeling — Even if it is difficult for you to talk about your feelings with other people, it is very important to find a way to do so when you are grieving. Knowing that others are aware of your feelings will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal. Journaling can also be a helpful outlet for your feelings.

🙄Remember that moving on is the end goal — Expressing your feelings will liberate you in a way, but it is important not to dwell on the negative feelings or to over-analyze the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger, and resentment will rob you of valuable energy and prevent you from healing and moving forward.

🙄Remind yourself that you still have a future — When you commit to another person, you create many hopes and dreams. It’s hard to let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.

🙄Know the difference between a normal reaction to a breakup and depression — Grief can be paralyzing after a breakup, but after a while, the sadness begins to lift. Day by day, and little by little, you start moving on. However, if you don’t feel any forward momentum, you may be suffering from depression.

🙄Reach out to others for support through the grieving process.

🙄Support from others is critical to healing after a breakup or divorce. You might feel like being alone, but isolating yourself will only make this time more difficult. Don’t try to get through this on your own.

🙄Reach out to trusted friends and family members. People who have been through painful breakups or divorces can be especially helpful. They know what it is like and they can assure you that there is hope for healing and new relationships.

🙄Spend time with people who support, value, and energize you. As you consider who to reach out to, choose wisely. Surround yourself with people who are positive and who truly listen to you. It’s important that you feel free to be honest about what you’re going through, without worrying about being judged, criticized, or told what to do.

🙄Get outside help if you need it. If reaching out to others doesn’t come naturally, consider seeing a counselor or joining a support group. The most important thing is that you have at least one place where you feel comfortable opening up.

😯Cultivate new friendships. If you feel like you have lost your social network along with the divorce or breakup, make an effort to meet new people. Join a networking group or special interest club, take a class, get involved in community activities, or volunteer at a school, place of worship, or other community organization.

😯A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event. When you’re going through the emotional wringer and dealing with major life changes, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The strain and upset of a major breakup can leave you psychologically and physically vulnerable.

😯Treat yourself like you’re getting over the flu. Get plenty of rest, minimize other sources of stress in your life, and reduce your workload if possible.

😯Learning to take care of yourself can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a divorce or breakup. As you feel the emotions of your loss and begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward.

It is not the end of the road, you have victory in Jesus Christ.

Credits – Amanda Buys

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Coping with a Breakup or Divorce – Moving on After a Relationship Ends

It’s never easy when a marriage or significant relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split — and whether you wanted it or not — the breakup of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings. But there are plenty of things you can do to get through this difficult time and move on. You can even learn from the experience and grow into a stronger, wiser person.

Healing after a divorce or breakup

Why do breakups hurt so much, even when the relationship is no longer good?

A divorce or breakup is painful because it represents the loss, not just of the relationship, but also of shared dreams and commitments.

Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hope for the future. When these relationships fail, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief.

😪A breakup or divorce launches us into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity.

😪A breakup brings uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship.

😪Recovering from a breakup or divorce is difficult. However, it’s important to know (and to keep reminding yourself) that you can and will move on. But healing takes time, so be patient with yourself.

Coping with separation and divorce:

🤗Recognize that it’s OK to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused — and these feelings can be intense. You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the marriage was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.

🤗Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup, and re-energize.

🤗Don’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.

🤗Allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship.

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and the breakup or divorce of a love relationship involves multiple losses:
☹️Loss of companionship and shared experiences (which may or may not have been consistently pleasurable).
☹️Loss of support, be it financial, intellectual, social, or emotional.
☹️Loss of hopes, plans, and dreams (can be even more painful than practical losses).

Allowing yourself to feel the pain of these losses may be scary. You may fear that your emotions will be too intense to bear, or that you’ll be stuck in a dark place forever. Just remember that grieving is essential to the healing process. The pain of grief is precisely what helps you let go of the old relationship and move on. And no matter how strong your grief, it won’t last forever.

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 21 – Grief, Trauma or Depression

When Trauma Blocks Grief

Losing a loved one in a sudden or unexpected way — a car accident, heart attack, murder or suicide — may result in a traumatic reaction that hinders the grieving process. This sense of shock can also occur when the death is expected, as in the case of a long illness.

If a person is run down psychologically, suffers from anxiety or depression or has endured previous traumatic experiences, it’s more difficult to handle another setback. As a result, additional grief symptoms can be unbearable. In order to cope, the traumatized individual may attempt to avoid grieving altogether.

The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder highlights broad types of symptoms that differentiate trauma from grief:
😔Re-experiencing Symptoms: Mentally replays the trauma while awake or asleep.
😔Avoidance Symptoms: Avoids trauma-related activities, places, thoughts or feelings.
😔Numbing Symptoms: Loss of emotions, especially positive ones.
😔Arousal Symptoms: Difficulty concentrating and sleeping, and a heightened sense of being on guard.

Over time, if symptoms continue to influence life at work and home, counseling is advised. In addition to support groups, treatments that are both comforting and effective are available. Grieving the loss may be painful, but it is necessary to allow healing to occur.
Credits – Patricia Johnson