Going through a divorce is hard. You may have thought that the hardest part was telling your kids about the divorce, but now, it seems that might have been one of the more manageable tasks.
Finding balance, peace, and teaching moments amidst divorce can be overwhelming some days. However, when you have young children or impressionable teens watching your every move, you need to flip-the-script and find some teaching opportunities during these hard times.
Let’s face it, not only will it be good for your kids to see some positivity, but it might even boost your spirits, too.
Life Lessons You Can Teach Your Kid During Divorce
Importance of Positivity
Being positive can be challenging when you’re going through difficult times. It’s crucial that you remember that positive thinking and self-talk can actually change your outlook.
Not only can it change your mood, but optimism can lower rates of depression, boost your immunity, and improve your ability to cope with hardships in the future. These are all things that you and your kids need right now.
It’s important to know that being positive doesn’t mean you have to look at everything through rose-colored lenses. The psychology behind positive thinking tells us that optimistic people have a different spin on explaining why certain events happen. While positivity doesn’t come easy or even natural, when you look for lessons in everyday life, you are bound to find them.
Finding Teachable Moments
Now that you’re on the road to positive thinking, you need to consider how to help your kids learn lessons during this hard time at home. You might be thinking to yourself that finding ways to teach them new things right now is just too tricky, but we think you’ll be surprised at just how simple it can be to show some great life lessons even when you might feel a little drained. Take a look at some of our favorite kid-friendly experiences:
Lead an Earth-Friendly Life
If you have school-aged children, they probably love hands-on activities. Try creating a few memories while you teach some earth-friendly lessons.
Plant a garden or do some landscaping activities in the yard together. Find a few ways to reduce your carbon footprint and work on them as a family.
Make a pact to drive less and walk or bike more. You can also learn how to reduce your energy use by switching to LED lightbulbs or unplugging electronics. All of this is simple to do and gives you new ways to connect with the kids when things might be feeling rocky, and you might just reduce your monthly bills as an added bonus.
Remind Them That Nothing Lasts Forever
If your kids are struggling with the divorce, having an open, honest conversation with them might be one of the best activities you can do right now. Let them know that someday they might realize the powerful lessons they learned from the divorce, but that for today, you would just like them to know that things will get better and the pain they feel will lessen.
You might not think that doing meditation with kids sounds like a fun activity. What if we told you that you can teach mindfulness to kids during a walk?
If you want to get outside, go for a walk specifically to notice the world around you. Tell the kids that for one full minute you want them to be totally silent and notice what they hear. If you walk in a wooded area, see if they can notice birds chirping or water flowing in a nearby stream.
This is an excellent way to bring a calming presence to their mind and give them a constructive and positive coping mechanism for when things are tough — which will benefit them their whole life. Practicing mindfulness is one of the myriad ways to combat any anxious feelings both you and your children may be experiencing during this time, teaching both of you what you feel is valid and to address each emotion that comes your way in a healthy manner.
Discuss Life Goals
Finding teachable moments with teens can be challenging. Try asking them where they see themselves in five or 10 years. This is a fantastic way to start talking about careers and even suggest job shadowing to help them think about what type of job they can see themselves enjoying in the future.
You might also suggest that you participate in National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 25. Plan a fun lunch and a few activities that you can do together while you’re at work for the day. This is a good time to talk to your pre-teens or teens about what you do and what you see as their greatest gifts or skills.
If you’re looking for lessons for the family, consider volunteering together. There are many excellent reasons to volunteer, even if it’s just for a day. Helping others can boost your spirits and decrease your stress levels.
Consider working at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or animal rescue. If you don’t have time to leave the house, rally the troops to do a little yard work for the neighbors or bring in the trash cans for any older adults on your street. You just might be surprised how good it feels to help others while you’re dealing with your own grief.
Learning to Find the Good
When you’re going through your divorce, it can be tough to remember that this too shall pass — and it can be even harder to teach this to your kids when you might not fully believe it yourself.
However, one of the most important things you can do is to maintain a good relationship with your children after the divorce. This will help you and them learn life lessons that they might have never learned any other way.