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Divorce: 3 Ways to Love Your Children
By Jean Tracy, MSS
Divorce causes most children a whirlwind of pain. Parents suffer too. A disorganized parent/child relationship hurts both. Read on to find 5 behaviors to avoid and 3 quality ways to share your love and stay bonded.
Parenting Advice: 5 Behaviors to Avoid
Most divorce experts recommend the following actions for divorced parents:
1. Avoid fighting in front of your children. It scares a child and can build up resentment against you.
2. Avoid talking against the other parent. Criticizing your ex-partner hurts your child's feelings. Your child loves both of you.
3. Don't prevent the other parent from visitations. Unless there's a huge or legal reason, your child has a right to both of you.
4. Don't be too busy or worried to spend quality time with your child. Lack of quality time often increases a child's fear, stress, and loneliness.
5. Don't ask your child to take sides. Pressuring a child in this way breeds guilt. Most children already think they caused the divorce.
3 Loving Actions that Bind Parents and Children
1. Take time to laugh and play with your child. Show him that you enjoy his company. Talk in terms of his interests not your problems. Tell him specific, honest, and positive things you love about him like, how he does his homework, how he plays fair when he plays sports, or how he makes you smile.
2. Transfer your love by holding your child's hands. This can be done anywhere, in the kitchen, outside on the lawn, looking up at the stars, or at bedtime. Tell your child to send her love to you while you send your love back to her.
First, hold hands and both close your eyes while thinking how much you love each other. Take at least 10 seconds.
Second, look into each other's eyes and smile while you silently send your love to each other through the gentle holding of your hands. Take as much time as you both need.
Third, turn on upbeat music and dance while holding hands to connect your love with rhythm, smiles, and laughter.
3. Give your child a heartfelt and lingering smile whenever you see her. Make sure your eyes connect and say, I love you. When you need to leave for work, end the visitation, or for some other reason must part, give a hug, a kiss, and gentle hand squeeze.
Conclusion for Empowering Children of Divorce through Love
Divorce is painful for children and parents. Avoid the negative behaviors that scare, worry, or make your child feel guilty. He needs to know you love him. When you show your affection through pleasant times together, the look in your eyes, and your loving touch, you will be easing his pain and strengthening your love for each other.
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If your children are six to twelve-years-old, pick up Character Building: Divorce Stories and Strategies to Help Your Child Heal Each story expresses a typical problem kids experience and is an easy way for you to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the divorce. Included in each story is a strategy to lighten their hearts and lessen their pain.