How to cope with divorce as a child

Going through divorce is hard and when it’s your child getting divorced you may have to be a supportive parent as well as consoling grandparent.

Be loyal. That doesn’t mean condoning or ignoring bad behaviour, especially if this is what ended the marriage. It’s letting them know that you’re there for them, no matter what. You can still love and support them while saying that you don’t agree with deception, lying or nastiness and in taking that stance you might actually be able to influence how they behave.

Children first. Sometimes divorce comes as a shock and at other times parents will be aware that their child’s marriage is unhappy so it can almost be a relief when it ends. Resist the temptation to badmouth the son-in-law or daughter-in-law and simply remember they will always be your grandchild’s parent. You’re going to want to be at every birthday, see them at Christmas and still be on the guestlist for 21st parties and weddings so never put grandchildren in the position of having to choose.

Don’t encourage estrangement. If the grandchildren are staying with your child, it can be tempting to punish their partner by keeping the children from them. If there are genuine concerns about abuse to either the parent or the children that’s different, but otherwise remember that they need two parents and encouraging spiteful behaviour hurts the children more than anyone. Grandparents can be a useful buffer while everything is still raw so see being polite to the ex as something you’re doing for your grandchildren.

Don’t take control. Ask what you can do to help rather than trying to take over and organise them as you think is best. Help focus on the practicalities and consider all the options, both short and long term. If your child is the one who has ended the relationship there can be a burst of euphoria at finally having everything out there, so be prepared to listen to sometimes outlandish-sounding plans without pouring cold water on them. The first few weeks will be emotional and hard and everything can change by the day, so someone able to stay constant and as calm as possible is a great support.

Two sides to every story. It’s a cliche because it’s true and it can be as hard ending a marriage as being the person who’d prefer it to continue. Keep this in mind even if you don’t actually say it out loud and be prepared for outrage if you ever do voice something that might seem like a criticism of your child. Similarly, if you utterly loathe their ex try to keep that buried and keep the personal out of it – “it’s a shame he can’t manage this Sunday” rather than “what a thoughtless creep”. You want to set a pattern for a future where everyone can be civil so hang on to that thought when rage is overwhelming.

Never say, ‘I told you so’. You might think you’re just giving the ex a hard time but you’re also making your child feel bad about the past and choices they made, when they already feel hurt and vulnerable. Emotive remarks such as “‘Thank God you didn’t have a child with him” can cause terrible needless pain – perhaps they really wanted a child and the marriage foundered on that, so tread carefully. When they talk about the relationship, reassure them that the good times weren’t wasted and that they worked hard at it, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

Put your own grief aside at first. There’s double pain is seeing your child heartbroken, while also realising that your relationship with a much-loved son or daughter-in-law is changed for ever. If your child has been left by their partner it may help to have you empathising with their sense of pain or abandonment because you feel something similar. Gauge this carefully so that they don’t feel you’re taking sides and recognise that often it can be like a bereavement that you have to suffer alone.

Look ahead. Ask your child where they’d like to be – in every way – three or six months down the line and help them work towards that. Divorce may be common but that doesn’t make it any less painful, so support such as family mediation can be really useful to reduce everyone’s pain. Grandparents can take the lead by always putting the grandchildren first and encouraging everyone else to do likewise can help make this new life easier all round.

Divorce is not easy for parents or kids. Everyone in the family feels a tremendous sense of loss and anxiety. The family as they know it will no longer be the same.

In order for parents to be of the best help to their kids, they need to work with their own emotions, especially a common guilt they feel towards their kids. It is helpful for parents to recognize that coupling is one of the hardest things to do in the world and as a result divorce occurs in 50% of all marriages. It is nothing to be ashamed of. In many cases, it is better for everyone involved to sever a relationship that is causing grief. Children experience a great deal of anxiety when they live with constant parental discord. In fact, in many situations, children do better when they relate to each parent alone in a healthier environment. If parents accept their decision and present it as natural part of life, they can help their kids to overcome the difficulties. Here are some strategies for handling the challenges ahead:

1. Explain the divorce in a simple straightforward way. When possible, both parents should talk over how to explain the situation and have the discussion with the children jointly. They can explain, for example, “Mommy and Daddy fight all the time and it makes us all unhappy. We’ve decided it would be better for all of us if we live in separate houses.”

2. Reassure your children that they will always have both parents’ love and explain how things will work. For instance, “You will spend every other weekend and Thursday nights with Daddy. The rest of the time you will be with Mommy.” For young kids, you can play out the new arrangement with dolls or stuffed animals. Putting up a calendar also helps the kids feel more reassured that they will have time with both of their parents.

3. Talk about the emotions that kids naturally feel under these circumstances. You might explain, “It is normal to feel sad and angry about a divorce. These feelings are hard to deal with alone. When you feel angry or sad tell Mommy or me. You can say, ‘I feel sad,’ or ‘I need to talk,’ and ‘we’ll help you.’” Encourage your kids to have an on-going dialogue with you and demonstrate that you accept any feeling they have. Sometimes kids keep their feelings inside because they do not want to upset you. Check in with your kids frequently by asking, “How are you feeling about the divorce?”

4. Reassure your kids that the divorce is not their fault. Kids tend to be “egocentric” and believe that their behavior or thoughts cause bad events. They need to know that the adults have made this decision based on their relationship and it has nothing to do with them.

5. Avoid talking badly about the other parent or blaming the individual, even if you are angry. Children love and need both of their parents. They can easily experience a loyalty conflict and feel badly and this will deter an open dialogue. Children need to feel both of their parents are valuable because each child is a composite of their two parents.

6. Give your children ample advance notice before a parent moves out. It works really well if the children are able to visit the second home and know where they will sleep when they visit. It is wonderful to involve the children in helping to furnish the apartment and bring over some of their possessions.

7. It can be very helpful if you work with a parenting expert, or a family therapist who has experience with divorce and can give you guidance on how to handle tough situations that arise. Children also gain a great deal from talking to a therapist on their own. They often are freer to express feelings that they think will hurt their parents.


  • The Challenges of Divorce
  • Find a therapist to heal from a divorce

8. Be aware that when a family is going through a divorce, children can act up, withdraw or regress. It’s not uncommon for children to wet their bed, or refuse to listen. They will need extra time, support, and open communication. Over time these symptoms will dissipate as they adapt to the changes. Planning some favored family events will give the kids the feeling that life will go on as usual.

There is no question that a divorce is hard on everyone in the picture. But if children continue to feel loved by both of their parents and parents work to create a stable calm environment for their children, children can emerge from the situation in good shape. Over time, they will be calmer as they see everything becoming a familiar routine.

Here are some ways to help kids cope with the upset of a divorce:

  1. Encourage honesty. …
  2. Help them put their feelings into words. …
  3. Legitimize their feelings. …
  4. Offer support. …
  5. Keep yourself healthy. …
  6. Keep the details in check. …
  7. Get help.

Does divorce hurt the child?

No. Divorce does not always damage children. In many cases, mainly where there have been high levels of conflict between spouses, both adults and children are better off after the split, especially in the immediate aftermath.

Can divorce ever be good for a child?

A Dartmouth study on the effects of divorce on kids, noted that “75-80 percent of children develop into well-adjusted adults with no lasting psychological or behavioral problems.” Further, “[kids of divorce] achieve their education and career goals and have the ability to build close relationships.” It was also …6 мая 2015 г.

At what age does divorce affect a child?

According to Terry, who was 3 when her parents separated, ”The worst age for divorce is between 6 and 10; the best is between 1 and 2. ” The younger children do not feel responsible for their parents’ divorce and are consciously aware of the advantage of being younger when it happened, Dr. Wallerstein said.

What is the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child?

Ellen Perkins wrote: “Without doubt, the number one most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child is ‘I don’t love you’ or ‘you were a mistake’.

What are the five stages of divorce?

There are 5 common emotions people experience during the divorce process. They are often referred to as the 5 stages of grief. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Are couples happier after divorce?

While some may be happier after a divorce, research indicates most adults that divorce have lower levels of happiness and more psychological distress compared to married individuals. Divorce can bring up new conflicts between couples that cause more tension than when they were married.

How does divorce affect a child mentally?

Divorce can bring several types of emotions to the forefront for a family, and the children involved are no different. Feelings of loss, anger, confusion, anxiety, and many others, all may come from this transition. Divorce can leave children feeling overwhelmed and emotionally sensitive.

Why divorce is bad for kids?

Divorce frequently contributes to depression, anxiety or substance abuse in one or both parents and may bring about difficulties in balancing work and child rearing. These problems can impair a parent’s ability to offer children stability and love when they are most in need.

Should parents stay together for the sake of the child?

When a marriage is healthy and the parents are working together towards the long-term health and happiness of the marriage and the family, it is always better for the kids. Having said that, there is no reason to believe that staying together at any cost is better for children than divorcing.

Is divorce better than an unhappy marriage?

A 2002 study found that two-thirds of unhappy adults who stayed together were happy five years later. They also found that those who divorced were no happier, on average, than those who stayed together. In other words, most people who are unhappily married—or cohabiting—end up happy if they stick at it.

Does staying together for the kids work?

Is it always best to stay together for the kids? The short-term answer is usually yes. Children thrive in predictable, secure families with two parents who love them and love each other. … Try your best to make your marriage work, but don’t stay in an unhappy relationship only for the sake of your children.29 мая 2019 г.

How does divorce affect a 5 year old?

Effects of Divorce on Preschoolers

Like toddlers, preschoolers believe they are ultimately responsible for their parents’ separation. They may experience uncertain feelings about the future, keep their anger trapped inside, have unpleasant thoughts or ideas, or be plagued by nightmares.

How to cope with divorce as a child

Coping with divorce can undoubtedly be one of the toughest moments of anyone’s life. The reason for splitting does not matter, but this divorce or breakup can turn your whole life upside down.

Even if the relationship you are in is not at all good, a breakup or divorce can greatly hurt you. This means coping with divorce when you don’t want it . A divorce can disturb your entire routine and make your future quite uncertain. Women coping with divorce must be physically and mentally strong to be able to face the challenges their future life has in store for them.

The pain one experiences with divorce mean coping up with a lot of stress, and this can take a long time to recover. The pain can double for women coping with divorce while pregnant. For them, they have to suffer double emotional setbacks.

One is the loss of their relationship, the other worry to experience their entire pregnancy and post-birth period all alone.

How to overcome the grief when you are divorced?

Coping with divorce involves grief and despair, and it can be extremely hard to get out of this trauma. If you want to find out how to cope with divorce so that life gets a bit easier for you to deal with, here’s what you must know.

The first thing which you should do when coping with divorce is to give yourself a break from the entire incident of divorce. Shut down the divorce topic, and do not discuss it again and again. This is because the more you will discuss, the more it will be hard coping with divorce. It will be impossible to get out of the dilemma.

The next thing which you should do is to meet your friends and family. This will distract you, and you will feel better.

Isolating is not the solution to deal with this huge problem.

You can also join a few support groups where you will meet people dealing with similar situations. Joining support groups will also help you in coping with divorce depression.

One other thing which you can do when coping with divorce is to understand and realize that it is quite alright if you are angry, exhausted, irritated, sad, and confused. You must understand that the situation which you have gone through is a great emotional setback which will change your entire life.

You have to accept this change and learn how to deal with it.

Coping with divorce requires bravery

Remember that life is too long to spend it alone and also keep in mind that not everyone is bad. This world still has many good people and that you can always rely on them for help coping with divorce. That can be anyone, a friend, a relative, neighbor, or colleague.

Confide your feelings with them, take out your anger and frustration, and that will make healing quick.

Do not think about everyone as your enemy. Listen to the advice of your friends and family as they are all aware of the fact that it is not easy to tackle coping with divorce stress.

Mental stress is quite common when coping with divorce. But the best way to deal with it is to try overcoming your emotions, talking to your friends and moving on with your past life and focus on the future.

You still have a huge future, especially if you have small kids. You need to think about your kids, their future, and that you have lots left to do. Muster up your courage so that it is easy to move on.

Reading coping with divorce books is also one more option to move on . This can help you greatly in realizing that life still has a lot of good in store for you. These books will give you a lot of options and help you in making the biggest decisions in your life.

Also watch: 7 Most Common Reasons for Divorce


Coping with divorce can seem easier if you make a good and healthy routine for yourself. For instance, eating healthy, good sleeping routine, exploring new interests, and forbidding the use of alcohol.

The use of alcohol may give you temporary relief, but it is quite destructive in the long run.

Apart from all this, coping with divorce can be made much easier if you take professional help . Many people suffer a lot due to divorce; many go through abusive relations and what not. This can greatly destroy their mental and physical health.

Getting help from professionals does not at all mean that you are weak. It is just this treatment which will make you feel lots better and help you to combat this situation in an easier way.

Your treatment plan must also include self-help tips.

It does not matter if you are getting professional help; these self-help tips should definitely be a great part of your plan because they will help in preventing the depression from returning back.

How to cope with divorce as a child

Anyone who’s ever been through a divorce knows the heartache involved. Broken promises and dreams. A future forever altered. But as parents, watching your child navigate the emotional minefield of ending a marriage can trigger every fierce instinct we possess.

Learning how to be supportive yet not overstep the boundaries is not an easy task for any mother. Keeping our feelings to ourselves often proves even harder. But although we can’t take this pain away from our child, there are ways we can help. Unfortunately, there are also ways we can hurt.

Here are a few guidelines to consider if you’re struggling to find your place while trying to help them recover from one of life’s hardest curves.

4 ways you can help

1. It’s almost always better to keep negative opinions of your soon to be ex in-law to yourself. Even if your child was wronged, it doesn’t help to tell them they made a terrible choice for a partner or share that you knew it wasn’t going to last. It’s better to be a good listener, if your child needs to talk or vent, without judgment. And when it comes to telling others, unless you’ve been asked to spread the word, let them do the talking. It’s not your story to tell.

2. If there are grandchildren, be a harbor for them, especially in this storm. Let them know that your love for them and your relationship is still strong and will never change. Help them understand they can share any thoughts or concerns freely. Don’t pump them for information about what is happening at home, like whether mom or dad is dating or spending enough time with them. Always remember that your child’s ex is still your grandchild’s parent.

3. If your son or daughter seems to be struggling to move forward from the divorce, encourage them however you can. Divorce can be such a blow to self-esteem and confidence. It’s not helpful to tell them how they should feel or what they should do, but let them know they may be stronger than they think and will get through this.

4. As much as possible, try to remain positive with the relationships that have grown from their marriage, including the other set of grandparents. Drawing the battle line is rarely helpful to anyone. None of us are perfect and sometimes despite our best efforts, marriages end. Feelings toward others won’t end just because they’re no longer legally a part of the family. If there are grandchildren, remember you will likely see this side of the family again for birthdays, graduations and other life events.

4 ways that can hurt

1. On the other hand, even if you’re close to your daughter or son in-law and consider them as one of your own, your loyalty should still go first to your child. Many parent-child relationships have been strained by continuing a friendship without considering how this may make your adult child feel, particularly if they didn’t want the divorce. They may need your undivided loyalty, especially in the beginning.

2. A mother’s instinct to swoop in and fix the problem can be pretty strong as soon as we know our child’s in trouble, but hold yourself back. Remember, this is an adult who doesn’t need that from you now. Ask how you can help. They may want you to play an active part or a supporting role. Divorce can bring on powerful feelings of failure and wounded self-worth. Make sure they know you’re there for them.

3. For most divorces, it’s not just one person’s fault, but it will be harder for you if it was your child mainly responsible for the split. Unless they want to share, don’t pry into their life to find out what happened. This is not the time to blame or point out their shortcomings or look for faults in their spouse in an effort to balance out the guilt. And don’t make this about you, no matter how disappointed you feel or loved their soon-to-be-ex.

4. Let it go. I’ve known parents who just couldn’t accept that their child’s marriage was over and expressed their disappointment every chance they could. It’s hard to admit that the life you wanted for your child isn’t going to happen, but it works out that way sometimes. I know a woman who asked her daughter why she couldn’t make marriage work with a perfect husband. Remember that your words can hurt and may not ever be forgotten – or forgiven.

How to cope with divorce as a child

Life does get better

Divorce is hard, no matter the players, but it’s between the two people who were married and doesn’t involve you directly. Emotions run high but eventually and hopefully – everyone will find acceptance and look toward the future once again.

As parents, when our kids hurt, it’s pain twice magnified. We have our own sense of loss but also must stand by and witness theirs. It’s not always easy knowing where we belong in an adult child’s life. But making sure they know there’s a safe spot to land may be what they need the most. As they go through one
of life’s hardest moments, don’t underestimate what it means for them to know there’s someone out there in the world who is always in their corner.

Divorce is a situation that occurs in many households, and if you and your spouse have decided to separate, you should know that you are not alone. Resources certainly exist to help you cope with this new experience, and some of those resources can also help your children. Here are just some of the ways you can help a child cope with his or her parents’ divorce.

Have a Plan

When you first tell your children about the divorce, you likely do not have a detailed plan for exactly how the situation is going to play out. Still though, you can have at least the start of a plan. For example, maybe you have already decided that the children will spend the school weeks with one parent and weekends with the other, or perhaps you can set a schedule for holidays due to religious beliefs that are different from your partner’s. Some of the concerns that arise with divorce have to do with the unknown, and offering children some stable answers can help.

Seek Professional Guidance

You might think that you and your spouse will work through all of the details independently and that you don’t need to seek professional help. However, since you are navigating a new situation, you likely do not realize all of the obstacles that could come in the way. Instead of trying to manage these challenges independently, work with a divorce attorney. This person can help you to make decisions that benefit both your family members and yourself. Without professional guidance, more stress can manifest for you, your partner and your children.

Maintain Routines

If you’ve ever been on a long vacation from work, you may have found that you were craving to get back into a routine at the end of that break. Children can thrive on routines as well. Too many big changes at once can cause additional irritation and stress for your kids. Work to keep them in their regular activities, to bring them to social events with their friends and to prepare meals on a schedule. As you do this, make sure that your children know that they can come to you with any questions they have. Let them take a break if they need to in order to cope, but have the routine in place for when they come back to it.

Do Something Special

In the midst of the divorce, new living arrangements and overall adjustments for everyone, planning any other sort of activity might seem ludicrous. However, think about several months from now when you will likely have at least found a new normal for yourself. Put a special date in the calendar that your kids can look forward to. Depending upon time, budgetary concerns and other factors, you can make this outing as large or as small as necessary and desired.

Children are certainly affected by divorce to varying degrees. Committing to and implementing some strategies can help to make the situation as positive as possible for your kids.

Divorce can be especially hard on children. But how do you know that a child is struggling with divorce? Look out for these behaviors and try these strategies if you notice them

Everyone knows the statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. What we often forget, however, is that a majority of these divorces impact children under the age of 18. Many parents struggle with guilt or fear of how the divorce will impact the lives of their children.

Because kids depend on parents for feeling secure, it’s normal for a child to feel scared or confused when they see their mom or dad hurting or increasingly distracted by new challenges. When parents fail to communicate the reason for their changing emotions and home environment, often a child will misinterpret what’s happening. They might begin to assume that they caused the divorce, or they might take responsibility to try and reunite their parents.

Signs Your Child is Struggling

How do you know that a child is struggling with divorce? Younger children may regress to behaviors they had previously outgrown, such as wetting the bed, wanting a pacifier, or throwing tantrums. You also might notice that they seem more anxious or upset when separated from you. Older children might experience a range of emotions, such as anger, guilt, or even relief that their parents are separating. They become more aggressive when angry, experience symptoms of depression or anxiety, and begin to withdraw or isolate from others.

Here are some other common behaviors or symptoms that can occur:

  • Academic or behavioral problems
  • Mood swings
  • Less socializing with friends
  • Less cooperation with everyday tasks
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Increased irrational fears
  • Lack of interest in communication

As emotions may run high between parents during a divorce, adults may try to parent separately rather than together to reduce fighting. However, as contact may become more manageable over time, parents often find that it is easier to work cooperatively when it comes to scheduling and making big decisions.

Worried your child may be suffering from a mental health disorder?

Take one of our 2-minute mental health quizzes to see if he or she could benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.

Strategies to Help Your Child Cope

Here are some additional strategies that many parents have found to be effective when helping their children cope with divorce.

Communicate together – If it’s possible, don’t tell the child about the divorce alone. Both parents should be present. To help kids prepare for upcoming transitions, communicate what’s happening as early as possible, rather than at the last minute.

Don’t use them – Try not to rely on a child for emotional support during a divorce. You can draw strength from their love, but support should come from friends, family, and professional guidance if needed. Try not to complain about your ex in front of your kids, and definitely don’t use kids as a go-between to relay messages.

Acknowledge the “sad” – You might feel tempted to paint the divorce as a happy or better situation for everyone. While things may improve over the long-term, it’s important to take the time to acknowledge to your child that divorce is sad, frustrating, and confusing at times. Don’t sweep those emotions under the rug.

Prevent the spread of stress – While it’s important to acknowledge that divorce is difficult, make sure that your children aren’t overhearing you complain or stress about financial concerns or other issues pertaining to the divorce. They can absorb that anxiety and fear and may feel like they have to share the responsibility of fixing things that are adult concerns.

Provide structure – Moving back and forth between two parents and two separate households can be less stressful if a child has similar rules and expectations with both parents. Bedtimes, responsibilities, and consequences should be as similar as possible. If you can, try not to cancel or change plans at the last minute.

Encourage relationships – A child should never feel like they have to choose between parents. Let him or her know that you want them to experience a positive and loving relationship with the other parent, so they won’t feel torn. They shouldn’t feel that they have to hide funny stories or happy thoughts with you about your ex.

Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Family counseling, school counselors, and peer support groups can be excellent resources for you during this difficult time. The more you take care of yourself and take responsibility for learning mature strategies for navigating life, the more energy and focus you can give to your kids. If you’re not sure where to start, make sure your kids know that you’ll always love them and you’ll always be their parent. If they know these truths, chances are you’re already heading in the right direction when it comes to raising healthy and happy humans.

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How to cope with divorce as a child

Chapter 14
How to Cope With Divorce

Divorce typically leaves at least one partner struggling to cope, and in some situations it will derail both of them. In fact, the most common cause of depression among women is the loss of a partner, whether it is due to death, separation, or divorce. Men, too, though they may put on a tougher exterior, often experience profound struggles to cope with the changes that divorce brings. Men can feel just as lost, just as powerless, just as hopeless as women do from the loss of a partner and the breakup of their family. Don't get suckered into that "manly man" nonsense. A man's DNA contains the same propensity for emotional responses as a woman's. In fact, research tends to show that men are more love-needy than women. Men are simply taught to bottle up this emotion, which generally isn't a very good coping strategy. Struggling to cope with the aftermath of divorce doesn't mean a man is weak, it means he is human.

Coping with the changes that divorce brings
Divorce often creates a crisis in a person's identity. Some may find it difficult to adjust from their role as husband or wife. They may need to rethink their roles as parents, workers, and caregivers. They may find themselves struggling to cope with questions such as.

� What do I want to do with my life?

� Has everything thus far meant anything?

� Where do I go from here?

� How desirable am I as a person? As a partner?

� Am I still as important to my children?

� What type of purpose does my life have now?

Parents, partners, providers – these are profound identity shifts that cut to the very core of how we see ourselves as a person. Difficulties are inevitable as parents grapple with these identity issues and adjust to new roles after a divorce. Whereas one parent might have been a primary caretaker before the divorce and the other the primary breadwinner, each parent will need to become the Jack-of-all-trades after the divorce. This can seem overwhelming, especially at first.

Most adults find that it takes at least two or three years to adapt to the changes brought about by divorce and get to the point where they really feel settled in their new life. Additional turmoil during this time &#8211 stressors such as a lost job or a significant move &#8211 can extend this period further. So recognize that it's normal to feel out of place for some time. As long as you're making strides in the right direction, that's what counts.

How well you cope with divorce also has an impact on how well your children fare. They will struggle more when you're struggling to cope yourself. Since children are profoundly influenced by the moods and emotions of their caregivers, helping them requires that you be in a right mind yourself. If you're detached, depressed, and neurotic, you're going to be less available as a parent, and less able to provide them with the type of comfort and support they need.

The Basics of Coping with Divorce
The remainder of this chapter is devoted to helping you deal with the mental challenges that divorce brings; everything from adopting the right attitudes to coping with feelings of hurt or loss that often accompany this transition. But first, here are a few basics:

1. Find divorce support, and utilize it
Find a trusted friend for whom you can talk things over with throughout this process. Simply talking things out can be therapeutic, because it helps us express emotions and get a better handle on the issues we struggle with. If you don't feel like you have anyone to talk to, there are hundreds of divorce support groups you can access online. These can be an indispensible resource throughout the divorce process, just be sure to utilize them to an appropriate degree. There is a tendency to get absorbed in such online forums and devote more time than was originally intended. Your children will be dealing with less available parents as it is, it won't help if you're spending 5 hours a day in a chat room. But used in moderation and to an appropriate degree, these cyber communities can be a valuable resource, especially when the kids are with the other parent.

2. Don't forget to breathe
Down time is important. So as your life grows more hectic, don't forget to leave a little room for recreation and relaxing. If you have the kids, try to arrange this down time around relaxing activities that include them, such as going for an evening stroll or playing with the dog in the backyard.

3. Try to grow emotionally
Anytime you're dealing with a disruption in your life, one of the best ways to deal with it is by hitting the books and engaging in a little self-study. Most people would never attempt to take apart and reassemble a car engine without first reading a manual and having some idea of how it works. Yet when it comes to life problems, rather than car problems, most people approach the situation blind, knowing little about the processes governing their own thoughts. Your brain is way more complicated than a car engine, and it's governed by any number of reflexive tendencies and default modes of operation. Just like an engine, the more we understand these inner workings, the more we can keep them operating smoothly.

We would strongly recommend parents read our sister publications, The Psychology of Healing and The Family Recovery Handbook, both of which cover general psychological and recovery concepts that can be applied to your everyday life. Beyond that, your library has a number of great resources, simply search for books on cognitive therapy, emotional intelligence or social intelligence. If nothing else, this wisdom can help you find insight and direction about what people in similar situations have gone through.

4. Acknowledge your progress
As you go about the process of recovering from divorce, count the positive steps you make and pat yourself on the back for every stride forward.