How your kids cope with divorce, will in part, depend on their resilience. While children are born with some resilience, you can help them develop more.
Giving your children a lecture on resilience or taking them into the woods with nothing but a knife and fire flint is not necessary. It is more about how you as parents interact with them. Remember that divorce stress may lead you to act out of character, and your kids will notice this and learn by watching, whether you want them to or not.
What are the 7 c’s of resilience?
These are the seven c’s developed by the pediatrician Dr. Ginsburg:
- Competence: Post-divorce, you may need to work more hours, which means your kids need to do things such as make food for themselves occasionally. If you give them the chance to try, it will boost their independence.
- Confidence: Tell your child when they do something well, and help them improve when they do not. Make sure you do not knock their confidence by criticizing them because you are in a bad mood after a difficult day.
- Connection: If you need to move, find ways for your kids to stay in touch with valued friends and family and help them build a new social network.
- Character: If you talk badly about their other parent, your children may learn that is normal.
- Contribution: Having your child help you around the house allows them to feel useful. It also eases the burden on you.
- Coping: If your children see you arguing and fighting over things, they may replicate that behavior when they disagree with someone at school.
- Control: Allowing them to make decisions, even small ones such as how to decorate their new room, will help them feel they still have control over their lives. Remember, by divorcing, you are altering their life as well as yours.
If you can work with your spouse to settle your divorce, rather than battling each other, you can spend less time on legal issues and more time helping your children adjust.