|Oh, little Eddie! Photo courtesy of US Magazine.|
|Unless you break up with Skynet...|
Though yesterday's post discussed the fear or worry associated with divorce, we didn't touch on how ending a relationship can be healing, healthy, or in some circumstances, necessary (safety, etc.). The end of one thing - childhood, a relationship, a job - can be the beginning of quite another great thing.
|Look? He left Terminator and modeled for Calvin Klein!|
How do we talk about change with our children? There are big changes they'll have to confront at different ages. Take for example Natalie's daughter. How do you explain divorce to a 4-year old? What about death, say of a relative, a friend, or a pet? What about more minor changes but ones that are still quite impactful: loss of a job, changing schools, moving, or a new teacher?
In the previous post, we wondered aloud how to confront a moment like this as an adult. Now, how do we as parents confront these moments with our children? There is the first step, steeling ourselves and saying "It's going to be okay." But where do we go with step 2.
Well, according to people who know these things (family counselors), the next step is simple honesty in terms they would understand. A 4-year old doesn't know what the word (or perhaps has never even heard the word) 'divorce' means, so you wouldn't start there. A 8- or 9-year old would have heard the word and may understand what it means. In either case, present the information slowly, don't overload them all at once. Next, listen. They may have questions or concerns. Hear them.
Finally, and I think this is really important, allow yourself and your children to be around caring friends (whether this is family, or a playgroup, a team, or a faith-based group).
|"Look, in the next movie I'll be blond. Then, Christian Bale." Photo: The Daily Beast|
I've found that friends keep me grounded and prevent me from sliding too far into darkness. Friendship isn't just good for sharing laughs or shoulders to cry on, it can actually make you happier. (See here, here, and here.)
And that's what I love about this blog. Friends sharing their experiences as parents. P&P is thankful for that!
|"No fate but you make." Kyle Reese AKA Michael Biehn AKA my first boyfriend.|