Children and divorce

Taking Care of Children’s Needs During Divorce

By: Caren B. Rifkin, LICSW

Divorce is one of the most stressful life experiences. When children are involved, the process has a strong impact on them and the entire family.

The circumstances and experiences of divorce vary, as does the support system that is available to each spouse and family. Spouses need to take care of their own emotional needs to adequately focus on helping the children.

The impact on children is significant and its necessary for parents to be aware and mindful in every way possible. Not an easy thing to do when emotions are challenging and stressor are significant!  Still, how parents approach the new family organization and functioning makes the difference as to whether the transition is smooth and healthy, or distressing and problematic.

Take Care of Your Needs So You Can Take Care of Your Children

Each parent needs to have a support system. You may turn to people who are helpful and understanding, like friends, or relatives who are already in your lives. You may also need to reach out to a therapist.

Some people are already good at maintaining self-care practice. Some suggestions that seem straight-forward include:

  • Getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Engaging in daily exercise.
  • Eating a good diet.
  • Processing and managing emotions.
  • Thinking clearly before acting.
  • Practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Meditating
  • Engaging in positive social activities
  • Reaching out to supportive family and friends

Self-care is a bit of a buzzword. It is often the topic of discussion but putting it into practice is important. There is a wealth of self-care practices that you can and should do. Everyone must discover for themselves what practices work for them and what you need to do to lessen the stress of the divorce process.

Importance of Taking Care of Your Children’s Needs

Children often feel that the divorce is their fault. Parents may think they have kept details to yourselves, but children of all ages are perceptive and pick up on what is going on with their parents.

If you are not taking care of your own needs, you may not be strong enough to assist your children through the process. Parents do not intentionally neglect the needs of their children. They are just not strong enough to withstand the stress themselves and therefore not strong enough to help their children through the process.

Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce

The Collaborative Divorce process assists the parents by having professionals on the team who can help the spouses work together as much as possible, and maintain their steadiness through the divorce process.  This helps parents to understand how the divorce is impacting the children and learn how the needs of the entire family can be met.

Biofeedback & Counseling Center is located at 25 Indian Rock Road Suite 20, Windham, NH 03087.

 Click here To learn more about Collaborative Divorce and how the process works.

Caren Rifkin is a licensed clinical social worker and board-certified biofeedback therapist, with over 35 years of clinical and administrative experience working with individuals, groups, couples, children and families in diverse settings, such as private practice, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, corporations and mental health centers. A career provider of integrative mental health counseling, specializing in effective methods for stress reduction, Caren is also a collaboratively trained law coach. She is committed to helping individuals and families work together to manage the challenges of divorce.


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