As a mother, I try to shield my children from as much as I can possibly protect them from. No loving mother wants to see their kids go through the pains that adults go through. However, we can't shield our kids from everything. A lot of adults underestimate their children, thinking they don’t notice the tension or discord around them. But they do.
As we began the process of divorce it broke my heart to watch my children process what was happening to our family. I made sure that I did everything that I could do to help them cope though the process. Change is never easy for anyone. But for children, changes this big can be traumatizing.
So here are some things that I did for my children as they made this big adjustment.
1. I Always gave them an ear to listen to how they felt
The questions about why daddy was no longer living with us lingered almost everyday when all of this first started. My kids are young, and naturally, they missed their dad so that was understandable. All sorts of emotions are tossed around in these situations. So as a mother, I let my children know that they can come and talk to me anytime they feel they need to.
2. Play Therapy Never Hurts
People tend to think that therapy is a sign of weakness but I know from personal experience that it’s actually very helpful in my mental and spiritual growth. So when I did some homework on play therapy for my children, I knew it would be great for helping them through the major changes. It allowed my sons to find channels in which they can express how they feel about anything without keeping things bottled up inside. The last thing I want is for this divorce to mess up the true essences of who my children are. Play therapy was excellent for them. And it kept the door of communication open between myself and my children.
3. I never speak ill of my children’s father to them
Divorce brings about a lot of anger and sadness. This process is never easy to deal with. And goodness know that there were moments where I wanted to explode! For the sake of my children I’ve learned to keep a cool head. The stress can be a lot. But I stand strong in faith. Speaking ill of the other party only confuses the children more and can even create some resentment. The goal is to make my children’s lives as normal and as happy as possible.
4. Let them know they did nothing wrong
A divorce has nothing to do with children. It’s about the two adults who can no longer live together. Sadly the kids are affected by the change. I remember at one point that my oldest son once wondered if his father and I were apart because of him. When he expressed this, my heart broke. Of course I reassured him that none of this was his fault and that he and his brother are very much loved.
Children should never feel like they’re burdens in this process. During these times, they need all the love and support that they can get. We must pray over our children in everything that they do and go through. We may not be able to shield our children from everything but we can do everything in our power to keep them grounded through the process. Just as God is with us all, he is with our children too.
Remember to always pray and keep pushing!