Help Your Children Walk Through Divorce Without Turning From God
Divorce can be a difficult and stressful time for any family, and it can be incredibly challenging for children who may struggle to understand what is happening and why.
When people wrestle with pain and sadness, they may question significant aspects of their lives, such as faith and reason. As a parent, it is essential to support your children during this time and help them navigate the changes that come with divorce while maintaining their faith in God.
How Children of Divorce Feel
To guide children through a divorce, you must understand their feelings and thoughts. This understanding can help you connect with your children, frame your responses, and support them more effectively.
Here are some of the most common emotions that children feel when their families are going through a divorce:
- Confusion: Children may feel confused about why their parents are getting divorced and may struggle to understand what is happening. They may not fully understand the reasons for the divorce and incorrectly wonder if they did something wrong.
- Sadness: Children in divorced families often focus on what they have lost, don’t have, and the changes divorce brings. They may miss the family dynamic they had before and worry about the future.
- Anger: It is common for children to feel angry about the divorce, mainly if they believe one parent is to blame. The changes and disruptions in their life could also fuel anger.
- Fear: Children may feel afraid of the future and what it holds. They may worry about losing contact with one parent, moving to a new home, or starting a new school.
- Guilt: Feeling guilty about the divorce and believing they somehow caused it is another emotion children can experience. They may think their parents would still be together if they had behaved differently.
- Abandonment: Children may feel abandoned by the parent leaving the family home. This feeling could also lead to worry that this parent will not be there for them in the future.
- Stress: Children may feel stressed about the changes brought on by the divorce. It can be difficult for them to adjust to new routines, new living arrangements, and changes in their family dynamic.
Related: What Are The Effects of Divorce on Children?
Tips to Help Your Children Walk Through Divorce Without Turning From God
Here are some tips to help guide your children through a divorce without losing faith.
1. Be Honest With Your Children
It is crucial to be honest with your children about the situation and explain what is happening in a way they can understand. Explain that although the marriage is ending, God’s love and support for them will never change. Be sure to communicate that they are not to blame for the divorce and that both parents still love them and will always be there for them.
2. Reassure Your Children of God’s Love
During a divorce, children may feel like their world is falling apart and struggle to understand why God would allow this to happen. It is essential to reassure your children of God’s love and remind them that He is always with them, even during difficult times. You can also encourage them to pray and seek comfort in God’s word through Bible verses.
3. Encourage Your Children to Express Their Feelings
The emotional journey of divorce can be challenging and complex. Children feel various emotions during a divorce, including anger, sadness, and confusion. Encourage your children to express their feelings and reassure them that it is okay to feel them. Be sure to listen to them and validate their emotions. This can help them cope with the situation better and learn how to understand their feelings.
4. Keep Your Children Involved in Church Activities
Maintaining a connection with the church can provide children with a sense of stability and community during a divorce. Keep your children involved in church activities, such as youth groups or Sunday school, and encourage them to continue to grow in their faith.
Related: The 5 Keys to Mindful Co-Parenting After Divorce
5. Model Positive Behaviors
Children often mirror their behaviors after their parents, so modeling positive behaviors during a divorce is essential. Modeling includes:
- Avoiding negative language about the other parent.
- Using children as messengers between parents.
- Arguing or fighting in front of them.
You should also teach positive habits to promote well-being and help your children navigate this difficult time.
6. Seek Support From Others
Divorce can be an isolating experience. This is why social support is critical. This may include counseling for yourself or your children, talking to a pastor or trusted friend, or joining a support group for families going through a divorce. Support can play a significant role in coping with a divorce, helping each family member learn how to make sense of suffering and move forward healthily and positively.
Divorce can be challenging for children, as it involves significant changes to their family structure and can cause a range of emotions, from confusion to stress. Providing support and guidance is the best way to help children navigate these changes and maintain their faith in God.
This involves honesty, reassurance of God’s love, emotional expression, involvement in church activities, positive behaviors, and social support. By following these tips, parents can help their children cope with the emotional journey of divorce and build resilience to face future challenges.