Sunday, July 17, 2016

Helping Your Kids Get a Grip On Grief (Part 3 of 3)

In this final installment on the topic of divorce grief and your kids, let's look at the third phase, "Acceptance."

When you begin to see the following issues appearing, you can know your child has embraced the divorce as a reality. They have decided to move forward, anticipating their future.

  • Initiating discussions about the loss.
  • Getting more involved in activities again.
  • Caring about others.
  • Less animosity dealing with subjects like visitations, holidays, last minute schedule changes or dating/re-marriage.

You may your child less embarrassed or ashamed of having a broken home. They may still be bothered by the divorce but they're more accepting that things didn't turn out like they wanted.

Finding joy and contentment in extra-curricular activities and hobbies will begin to return. Your child will desire healthy relationships and feel accepted rather than feeling like a misfit.

Your child's pain may be replaced with a sensitivity to other kids who are experiencing a divorce. They might even give you subtle (or not so subtle) clues that they want you to find a woman and re-marry. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel for you and your precious kids. This is not to say your kids wont still fluctuate from time to time. Recovery is long process for everyone. Blaming themselves for the divorce is a common issue with children of divorce. And you will need to initiate a discussion about it from time to time; just to remind them not to adopt that mind-set.

Regardless of the phase your child is currently in (Early Grief, Acute Grief or Acceptance) recovery will come. With love and patience, you can guide your son or daughter through this season of life with God's help. He is after all, in your corner cheering you on.


Award-winning author Tez Brooks, has been writing for decades, with some of his work appearing in The Upper Room,, Clubhouse, Eternity magazine, and Book Fun Magazine. His book, The Single Dad Detour (Kregel, 2015) was semi-finalist for the Royal Palm Literary Awards. 

His most recent screenplay Jangled, won 2016 Best Short Film in Florida at CENFLO.His literary works won awards with Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild, the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference and the Florida Writer’s Assoc. 

Tez is a member of Word Weavers International, American Christian Writers Assoc., and Florida Writers Assoc. He and his wife serve as full-time missionaries with Jesus Film Project where Tez leads a team of journalists. They have four children and now reside in Orlando, following an overseas assignment. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Helping Your Kids get a Grip on Grief (part 2 0f 3)

As discussed in my last post, children often need help processing the grief that comes from divorce.

The first stage is early grief. It comes and goes and isn't present every day. It's a time when they need comfort and assurance.

Phase 2 is acute grief, presenting itself in a more constant emotional state. They are no longer in denial. They are very aware of what's happened and are reacting to it. As a parent you may find it in your child as follows:

  • Anger that causes lashing out at people or acting out and misbehaving.
  • Despair/Depression causing uncontrolled weeping, sleeping or disconnecting from people.
  • Yearning/Searching for something good from their past. They talk a lot about memories and long to go back to certain places or times.
  • Overwhelmed by the slightest choices or chores. Easily disoriented. 
Patience is key when they act out or get inappropriately angry. When they are overwhelmed by something, help them break it down into bite-sized chunks they can handle. If possible, take them to the place they long to re-visit or pull out old photos and allow them to process their losses. Don't neglect professional care or counseling if your child seems to be experiencing depression. But do display understanding and affection, reassuring them you are there for them and they are not alone. 

Finally, but not least...pray for and with them. Model dependance on the Lord during this season, offering hope in Christ. 

Next time I'll conclude this series discussing Phase 3: Acceptance. Meanwhile, use the comment box to tell us what you have tried and how it worked.