A Simple And Specific Way You Can Protect Your Kids From The Impact Of Divorce
The Four Most Important And Specific Ways You Can Protect Your Kids From The Impact Of Divorce.
A SIMPLE ND SPECIFIC WAY YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR KIDS FROM THE IMPACT OF DIVORCE.
If it isn’t blaringly apparent already, all you have to do is google “impact of divorce on children” to see a distressing list of awful ways kids can be impacted by divorce. Despite our best efforts to assure our children it “isn’t their fault” and that “both parents still love them,” it is an inescapably traumatic event. Research shows that they will either grow through and overcome this event, or continue to be battered by it over and over the rest of their childhood. The worst impacts of divorce come from the aftermath of the divorce, not the divorce itself. Any parent will tell you they want to protect their children from the negative impacts of divorce, but it can actually be quite difficult to identify specific ways to help your kids. Over the years I have observed and collected specific things you can do to give them what they really need. This article focuses on something rather simple, but very impactful:
ALLOW YOUR KIDS THEIR OWN POSSESSIONS
I remember in the third grade, all I wanted was a pair of“Kangaroo” tennis shoes. They were tennis shoes with Velcro pockets on the sides, and they were all the rage. I still recall when I received them for Christmas! They were white with grey trim, and I couldn’t wait to wear them to school. I proudly displayed them on a shelf in my bedroom. (The closet just wouldn’t do). That was over 40 years ago and I still remember it very clearly!
All kids, regardless of their age, have toys they love or clothes, or technology; maybe a hand-held gaming system or tablet, or smartphone. Even very young kids have games on their tech where they “level up” or collect “pets” or “cars,” etc., that they don’t have access to without that particular device.
One of the biggest mistakes I have seen divorced parents make is to strip kids of nearly all of their possessions. When a child is not free to take their things back and forth between houses, then they are not their things. They belong to that house, not to them. It can certainly be aggravating when they forget to bring back their shoes…again. But it is incredibly humiliating for kids to explain to their friends that they can’t wear the cool sweatshirt on Thursday because they can only wear it when they are with their dad or that they can only play that video game “when I’m at my mom’s.” Yes, it can be a terrible inconvenience to parents to constantly have to track down things at one house or the other, but it needs to be the parents' problem… not the kids'. They aren’t the ones who got divorced.
Parenting is hard work. Parenting after a divorce is even harder. But protecting our kids after a divorce is an investment in who they become.