Blog: How to cope with one’s parents’ divorce

Divorce can be understood as a legal dissolution of a couple’s marriage which could be through a court or other competent bodies (Hetherington, 23). As such, the parties involved terminate their marriage and go separately. However, divorce as a process has got many consequences on the lives of the children involved. This is because as parents’ divorce, they probably have a few children they brought forth together. As the reality downs to the children that their lives are not going to be the same again, it might pose a lot of challenges to them. This includes the change that comes with not being able to see both their parents at the same time within their homes, behavior and psychological problems, trauma, conflicts, feeling of abandonment among others. These challenges can be hard to cope with especially when the ties between the parents and the children are too close. So this blog highlights some of the coping strategies that one may adopt to enable them deal with their parents’ divorce.
Divorce affects not only children but also adults whose parents are separating (Hetherington, 17). This marks a turning point in their lives regardless of the time the divorce is taking place. One may end up feeling so much alone and thrown in a continuum of thoughts never to regain emotional security. Therefore, when a divorce is underway, it is always important that as a son or daughter, it is always best for you to have a few changes. This could involve changing school or neighborhood. Normally, this would be to ensure that you stay close to your friends more than ever so that you are less likely disturbed psychologically (Hetherington, 49).
Similarly, there normally comes a challenge to you often finding yourself at the receiving end of all the anger and frustrations in the failing relationship. Parents would always want to vent to their kids about the frustrations they are having (Hetherington, 69). However, this should not pressure you to take sides. In such cases, the parents may feel a little relieved to share with their children but the net effect is a polarized you against the parents. In this case it is advisable that as a son or daughter, you should steer off such eventualities or better, you may ask their parents politely to stop. This can happen for example in this manner, “Mom, Dad, I love the both of you. Please stop talking negatively about one another. I feel great discomfort.” This will enable one to put a stop to the negative utterances that are made by either of the parents against the other.
Also important is to understand that the divorce has nothing to do with you as their child (Hetherington, 93). It is about the parents unless in special cases where it is really about the child. Therefore, it is prudent that as a child whose parents are going through a divorce you do not make any rushed decision or assumptions. This is because the decision might just get formative to your future relationships influencing your life forever. Drawing negative conclusions about the divorce only worsens your condition since it presents more uncomfortable feelings. Therefore, you need not engage in judging the parents and victimizing them. To save you the pain and trauma of the divorce, there is a need for a forgiving heart that ensures one heals very fast. As a daughter or son, one is a product of this marriage and just because it collapsed is not a reason enough to be weighed down in deep stress and sorrow. Life needs to move on at the end of the day.
To save you much pain, you need to talk to the parents more often (Hetherington, 275). First of all, you need to realize that the parents’ chances of fixing the relationship and getting back together are very low. You may opt to talk to them about your feelings and understand that they are not good together anymore. The sooner you accept this, the better. Make sure they understand that you need them. However, your need for them should not override their desire to go separate since you can still access them. Ensure you communicate with them how much you need them and the importance of visitation to them. Except an abusive parent, visitation is very important especially in ensuring that life normalizes for you. Arrange with them on how they will see you or how you will always catch up to make life normal since you are growing with them both.
Many a times the parents may involve you as a go between them (Hetherington, 147). Worse is when they make you a spy for the other. Refuse such attempts for they make you only regret later. To clear your conscience and free yourself the burden, politely decline and request them to work out their issues together without involving you.
You may also find someone who can be your confidant so that when you are overwhelmed you can share with them (Hetherington, 323). Talking about what you are going through brings about some relief. On the other hand, be careful whom you share this information. Others may misadvise you. It is prudent that this is done with either a counselor, close trusted friend or a family member. Writing therapy also works in such circumstance. Especially for those who cannot confide to someone what is happening in their life, you may opt to write in a journal. As you write about your predicaments you gain a sigh of relief. You may write about your dreams, what you intend to achieve and how. This will help you focus and reduce the distractions by stress and divorce trauma.
Finally, take your time to read about divorce and how one can cope with it. You may also take to pursue your hobbies to keep you busy for the more you remain idle you increase your likelihood of plunging into thoughts, stress and subsequent depression. For those who cannot make their feelings better unless they cry out, it is an option. You may cry just to let out the pain. Let the emotions out of your system to get relieved.

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