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

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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

DEALING WITH GRIEF 18

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Grief ministry to CHILDREN.

It is important that we support and help our children deal with their grief properly (watch http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=foOHvyv9CVI).

Learning to mourn, and to be comfortable with the grieving process, might not seem like a parenting skill. But grief is a part of every life, and how we handle loss has a huge impact on the richness of our family’s emotional life. Our comfort level with loss also gives our children an important role model.

At times, there will be nothing we can do for our child except to sit with him and let him experience his grief — over a sports defeat, an inconsiderate peer, a dead pet, or even an ill or deceased loved one.

To work through his grief, our child needs what therapists call a “holding environment,” and we are the ones who do the holding, both physically and emotionally. If we are so uncomfortable with loss that we cannot allow our child to mourn, we give a destructive message that is far reaching. Accepting loss as a normal part of life is important for optimal mental health for all of us. The more we allow ourselves to grieve when necessary, the more joy we can feel.

Thankfully, grief is never interminable. Like all feelings, if we let ourselves feel it, grief swamps us, and then, eventually, diminishes. Not that grief ever disappears, but we can think of it as a slice of the pie of our lives — at first an important loss pervades the entire circle of our life, but gradually the slice of our life in shadow becomes smaller and smaller. Eventually, we can go on with our lives in a healthy way, although we may always revisit the pain of our loss. But if we fend it off like an unwelcome visitor, grief doesn’t leave. It takes up residence like a shadow in our psyches, and we become stuck in its bitter influence. Unresolved grief compromises resiliency, threatening to burst out at even minor provocations, leaving us fragile and prone to depression.

Our children, therefore, not only need to grieve sometimes, but need our help to do so. Give children ongoing opportunities to ask questions and to talk about their loss. Create large and small practical exercises of remembrance, and to honor the deceased and help them keep them alive in your child’s heart. As the months go by, make a point of mentioning the lost loved one’s name in conversation when appropriate. Don’t insist that your child grieve when he or she is trying to be happy, but don’t act as if the loss didn’t happen, either.

Be aware that children grieve differently from adults. They need ROUTINE that offers safe space for grieving, and then a defined end point so they can play again and go on with their lives without guilt. The kids who successfully live through loss are the ones who find ways to feel connected to the person they’ve lost AND to go on with their lives. Even children experiencing severe losses need time off from grief.

They need safe space, such as school, where they will not be reminded of their loss and can forget for a time. They need to hear that we are there for them when they want to talk, and they need us to normalize talking about the loss, but they also need our permission to go on with their lives.

Credits – Amanda Buys

RESTORATION OF MANHOOD 32 – Your own children

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God gave fatherhood to the YOURman. You are responsible for the development of your children. God did not leave it to your wife.

Genesis 17:18-19 18 And Abraham said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!’
19 Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

Psalm 78:5-6 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
6 so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

A Few Practical Pointers – for Positive Father power:

    • Pursue the ultimate Father: live for eternity instead of the weekends. Think larger than yourself. Model and teach respect for authority.
    • Help your family see the big picture. Commit solidly to family unity. Be positive in building family member’s confidence.

QUESTION: Is promise-keeping an important part of your own practice of fathering?

Psalm 127:3-5 “behold – children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Credits – Amanda Buys.
Image source – sportyafros.com

RESTORATION OF MANHOOD 9 – God’s purpose for marriage

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MAL 2:15 And did not God make you and your wife one flesh? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why did God make you two one? Because He sought a godly offspring from your union. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth.

When a marriage breaks up, it is the children who suffer the most.

MAL 2:16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment (his wife) with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit that it may be controlled by My Spirit, that you deal not treacherously and faithlessly with your marriage mate.

The Lord hates:
– Divorce.
– Marital separation.
– A husband who hits his wife or who is violent towards her.

God’s requirements may all be summed up in a single word: LOVE. This love is manifested in three main dimensions:
– The intimate love between a husband and his wife.
– The protective love of parents for their children.
– The reaching-out love of believers towards those who have no one else to love them – the orphans and the widows (single moms).

Credits – Amanda Buys
Image source – pinterest.com

RESTORATION OF MANHOOD 8 – When fathers fail

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Yes, fathers fail. And the numbers are only increasing. But is that all there is to it?

DEUT 28:41 You shall beget sons and daughters but shall not enjoy them, for they shall go into captivity.

Not enjoying our children is a curse! How many parents today really enjoy their children?
God made children the greatest blessing He could give to men and women.
However, children have gone “into captivity”. There are different kinds of satanic captivity: Drugs. Illicit sex. The occult. Cults. Etc.

MAL 2:7 For the priest’s lips should guard and keep pure the knowledge of My law, and the people should seek instruction at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

The priest must know the law of the Lord and interpret it to the Lord’s people. This also applies to a father as priest.

HOS 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you, the priestly nation, have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.

When a father fails to fulfil his intercessory ministry as priest, God says, “I will forget your children”. “Your children will no longer be under My special watchful care.”

How many young people are forgotten by God today – ignored by God – because they have no fathers to intercede for them?

ANSWER
MAL 4:5, 6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he shall turn and reconcile the heart of the estranged fathers to the ungodly children, and the hearts of the rebellious children to the piety of their fathers, a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly, lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction.

Credits – Amanda Buys
Image source – huffingtonpost.com