Your Feelings Are Real Kids experience many emotions when separation and divorce happen. You’re not alone.
It’s OK to Feel This Way
Separation and divorce are emotional matters just as much as they are legal ones. There are many changes that come with separation and divorce, and it can be a lot to handle alone. You may feel sad, angry, powerless, deserted, shocked, or embarrassed. There are a wide range of emotions and feelings that come with all the changes that are happening in your life.
It’s Not Your Responsibility
Remember that what has happened between your parents is not your fault. Your parents may be upset as well, but it is not your responsibility to take care of them. Your parents, extended family, friends, teachers, and counsellors can provide support for you.
Help Is Out There
Sometimes kids or teenagers whose parents are going through separation or divorce may go to see a counsellor. This doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong and it is nothing to feel embarrassed about. A counsellor is someone who is professionally trained and can talk with you and/or your family about issues or problems. Counselling can be beneficial for anyone going through separation or divorce. Counselling sessions can be one-on-one, with your parents, with your siblings or a mix of all three. Counselling is private. This privacy will be explained by the counsellor. A counsellor is there to check in with how you are dealing with the change in your family. They may ask you questions in order to understand your family better, so they may help your parents decide what is in your best interest. They may just want to talk and play games with you in order to get to know you better. Counsellors are there to support you. So whether you want to talk about your favourite hobby, what is going well and what is not, or the feelings you may be experiencing, counsellors are there to help you through the process.
Ways to Deal With Change
People deal with the changes that come with parental separation and divorce in different ways. Getting involved in activities can be very helpful. Spending time with friends, writing in a journal, exercising, and keeping up with your hobbies are some options that help relieve stress. In addition to seeing friends, spending time with extended family members, such as cousins, aunts, uncles or grandparents can be helpful. Separation and divorce can be complicated and cause the relationship to change between your immediate family and extended family. This change may be temporary or may last for longer periods of time. This is not a result of anything you have done. It is an issue that may take time to be sorted out between your parents and relatives. Extended family members still love you, despite any difficulties they may have with your parents.