Category Archives: Family

Helping Your Children After a Divorce

Helping Your Children After a Divorce

Divorce introduces a tremendous change in the life of a child.

For most children, divorce will be the first major crisis of their lives.

It turns a child’s life upside down. How, and to what extent this happens, varies among different families. Young children may not be old enough to fully understand divorce or what it means.

Regardless of their age, helping your kids navigate life after divorce is critical.

Adjustments to changes resulting from divorce, like going back and forth between households, the daily absence of one parent while living with the other, new step parents and potentially new siblings need time, and that time is different for everyone.

Here are a few ways you can help your kids after divorce:

  • Find new ways to be good parents and co-parents despite the many changes and challenges of parenting apart. Your children need clear, consistent, loving, authoritative parenting. You are former partners now, but you are still parents.
  • Never speak negatively about your ex in front of your child. Putting your child in the middle of your conflicts leads to a feeling that loving both parents is not ok.
  • Help your child to grieve. The grieving for the life that he or she once knew begins now. It is normal and healthy to grieve. It hurts to see your child in emotional pain, but it hurts them if you do not allow them to express their own painful feelings.
Every child needs to have the sense that even though things have changed, one remains constant: their parents will always be Mom and Dad even though they are no longer husband and wife.

When they feel secure in that, they can shift the focus of their daily lives back to where it belongs: on being a kid, on their activities, friends, and routines. When parents understand their child’s perspective and honestly act in their best interest, they can increase resiliency within their child and help them thrive during a painful and difficult transition.

Written By: Michelle Rathburn, MAMFT

 

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 2

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 2

In Part 1, we reviewed characteristics of a healthy marriage.  Unfortunately, when these elements break down, the friendship erodes and the relationship can become very negative. The information that I am sharing with you is based on the work that Dr. John Gottman discussed in his book, “The Science of Trust.” One of the hallmarks of…

Leaking is a Toxic Behavior Parents should Avoid: Part 2

Leaking is a Toxic Behavior Parents should Avoid: Part 2

As I stated in part 1 of this blog, leaking can have a negative impact on your children’s mental and emotional health. As parents experience the pain, anger, confusion and grief that typically accompany a divorce, children are also experiencing many of those same emotions. Divorce can increase a child’s risk for a variety of…

Mother’s Day When You’ve Lost Your Mom

Mother’s Day When You’ve Lost Your Mom

Losing a loved one is always an incredibly painful experience. It’s not uncommon that even months or years after a loved one has died that you periodically experience grief as though it happened only last week. Often, anniversaries and holidays, like Mother’s Day, are some of the most difficult times for those who have lost…

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 1

Marriage Relationships and Their Healthy Characteristics: Part 1

If you’ve been married for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced a few ups and downs in your relationship.  But do you ever wonder about the health of your marriage?  In his book, “The Science of Trust,” Dr. John Gottman discusses that, even though healthy marriages can vary greatly in how they look, they…

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