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How to turn divorce, child custody into life lessons

When an Alaska family is divided by divorce, the effects are felt by everyone, adult and child alike. While it is certainly possible to become overwhelmed with the negative aspects of this significant life event, parents should understand that divorce and child custody matters offer essential teaching opportunities for children. By focusing on these opportunities, parents can move through the end of their marriage with a sense of purpose.

One aspect of divorce that can be used to teach an important lesson is the benefit of soldiering through adversity. Instead of trying to hide the negative emotional response that spouses have during divorce, take the time to share your feelings in a manner that kids can understand. The end result is the lesson that even when life does not go as planned, the best course of action is simply that: action. Taking a proactive approach to a problem is the best way to move forward.

Another lesson that kids can easily relate to is avoiding the urge to speak out when angry. There is no need to shield children from every negative emotion, and even young children understand what it means to be angry. Take the time to explain to your children that even though Mom and Dad may not see eye-to-eye on many subjects, it is best to avoid making negative statements while angry. Kids can put this lesson to use when their friends act in a way that is upsetting or hurtful, and will learn that it is better to say nothing at all rather than risk saying a mean thing that cannot be taken back.

Alaska parents can turn their divorce and child custody arrangements into a powerful teaching tool. All it takes is the right mindset, and a shared desire to make the transition easier for their children. In the end, the final result can be a divorce process that is kinder and less stressful for both parents and children.

Source: Huffington Post, Divorce As a Teaching Tool, Allison Pescosolido, Nov. 21, 2013

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