8 Tips on How to Deal with an Angry Child After Divorce
Children are the most innocent victims in any divorce, and the feeling of abandonment can create an angry child.
After all, the divorce turned your child’s world upside down, and no one asked the child if a divorce would be okay. In a child’s mind, marital separation means that a parent will go away. The betrayal can be subtle, but there can be a lasting effect if you do not watch for the signs and be wise.
Few helpful tips to teach you how to deal with an angry child.
1. Don’t lie to your child, but use honesty wisely
There is no point in trying to convince your child that, “Daddy is out of town.” The child knows more than you think. Remember, your children live in your house, where all the pain, strife and fights have been going on.
Instead of telling white lies, say honestly, “Dad and I are having a hard time, so he went away to think. Still, he will take care of you and always be around when you need him to be.
Never use your child as a weapon of any kind. Even the most subtle forms of putting down the parent who has moved out of the house are nothing but abuse. Reassure the child that both of you will do everything you can to make sure the child never does without.
2. Don’t assume your child is fine
Watch for the signs. Anger is acceptable and even needed. The child needs to know and believe that he or she has the right to be angry. You will need to allow more outburst than in normal times, but watch out for the other danger signs.
If the child begins to act out violently, step in immediately. Children need consistency, so enforce your rules.
3. Don’t buy into the manipulation game
Kids are pretty smart and will use any trick in the book to get their way. They will note very quickly how easily you give in when they lay a guilt trip on you.
Do not be fooled. Instant permissiveness send this clue: “Dad and I are getting divorced, so I’ll let you do what you want to do.”
4. Be there
Do not use this time with just your own self-interest in mind. Your child needs you and you need to be aware of what he or she is going through. Be present. Play with your child, go to their school activities and be the best parent you can be.
5. Allow your child enough time to spend with your ex
It is a big mistake to punish your ex by keeping the children away.
Some people use any excuse to keep the child from spending enough time with the other parent, keeping them away from the other partner as much as possible. No matter how you feel about your ex, remember the child needs them just as much as they need you.
Do not be a selfish fool.
6. Be flexible
This is not the time to get picky about special occasions. You may have to make Christmas day on the 26th, and birthdays may have to wait. Your child will have two homes now, so keep that in mind when you plan holidays.
7. Allow the grandparents into the mix
Grandparents are great at helping kids escape, so call them. They can go to the zoo and make cookies too. Your child will come home knowing they are loved and feeling more secure.
8. Give the child access to activities that help to blow off steam
This would be a great time to join an athletic club. You and your child could work off steam and come home, tired but happy.
Physical exercise is the best way to release the stress of anger.
You could also allow your child to participate in the little league. Both parents would come to watch, and it would be a great way to break the ice after a divorce. You will both be on the child’s side, of course! Kids adapt fast to even those things, which take forever for us to adjust to, but until they do, they will need you.
There is a fine line between acceptable anger and the rage that comes from not being aware, so be prepared.
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