Family members lose contact for a variety of reasons: Neglect or abuse can cause a child to cut off a parent. Divorce may pit not only parents against each other but also siblings. And some children simply grow up without one or both parents.
Rebuild Your Children’s Trust
Divorce is a painful process, not just for the couple involved, but also for their children. Hurt, confusion, and mistrust set in, which can result in separation anxiety. The good thing is that parents can put in an effort to reconcile with their kids and work hard to bring back their trust. By doing this, the children may find healing.
Pursue, pursue, and then pursue some more.
Never stop pursuing your kids, no matter what the obstacle. Maybe they have moved to another parish or country or your ex is sabotaging your efforts to be with them. Do FaceTime, write letters, become a master at diplomacy, send text and video messages, go to any and all events when you can, and ask them to send you pictures.
Foster an Open Line of Communication
Make an effort to eat meals together. Depending on the conditions of the divorce, allow the other parent to join you for dinner at least once a week. If your children do not talk during the meal, don’t force them to do so. You may eat silently while looking at them lovingly and letting them know that you are there with them. Your presence plays a critical role in their healing.
During weekdays, write simple but sweet notes or send a message to your children to let them know that your communication line is open anytime. Be genuine with your messages.
Prepare mentally and emotionally for rejection.
Confrontations are unpredictable, so it’s important to remember that not every child involved will be ready to reconcile.
Take Accountability for Your Role in the Conflict
Accept and be held accountable. Then, ask your children’s forgiveness genuinely for having them go through this ordeal. This act will teach them humility, respect, and how to be responsible for their actions. It will also lead them back to regaining their trust in you.
Understand Their Anger
Keep an open mind on your child’s emotional outbursts. It may be their way to express their anger, fear, disappointment, and more. If your child refuses to counsel, you may want to learn a constructive approach to manage their feelings.
Avoid showing up unannounced.
Because surprises and unwanted presence can be stressful for all parties involved, consider sending a letter, email or voicemail first.
Be a Good Example
Establish respect in your household, but allow your children to express their feelings in an acceptable manner. Listen to their concerns and acknowledge their thoughts about divorce. Respond without prejudice. If you need a timeout, tell your child that you are taking a short break. Use this break to gather your composure for a few minutes.
These gestures might seem small, but they can provide more clarity to the current situation. Understand that it may take some time before your relationship with your kids completely goes back to normal. They need healing as much as you do.
Rekindle Lost Friendships
Your relationships with your friends and loved ones after divorce may change drastically. Divorcees sometimes find difficulty in getting back into their usual social circle, especially if both parties share the same group of friends and acquaintances.
If you are getting your (social) life back post-divorce, here are some useful tips for reconnecting with your friends and relatives.
- Accept the support of relatives and close friends. During and after the divorce, you will know who stayed and became your solid support throughout the process. You need to nurture these friendships and appreciate their effort. Let them know of your gratitude.
- Don’t automatically burn bridges. While you hang with those who supported you during your divorce process, do not easily let go of the people who were not with you during that time. Give it some time.
- Embrace new friendships. Divorce is not the end of the tunnel for anyone. It may be the best time to form new connections. Start a new hobby and try out activities you have not thought of doing before. These are great ways to meet new people and build new friendships.
- Get in a divorce support group. Being with people who have also undergone divorce may be a healthy way to rebuild yourself after your divorce and gain new friendships. It is an excellent way to form relationships built on trust and understanding.
- Join volunteering activities. Other than being able to give back to the community, grabbing the opportunity to go out and widen your network is an admirable opportunity to interact with others.