The Secret Substance To Power Us Through Life’s Greatest Challenges – Talent!
Nothing can bring greater stress than divorce especially to the lives of children.
Not only is a picture of stability and hope being shattered in many ways – their parents coming apart but with a likely move as well. That move means a change in what has likely been familiar since birth. Their rooms. Their home and memories of riding their bikes for the first time. Throwing a baseball or football. Having friends sleep over. Birthday parties.
One of the best ways to help anyone deal with change is to get them focusing on what they can control. For each person that is using what is unique to them as individuals. As a parent think about those Talents your child has. What do they do that they love and they have demonstrated exceptionality at. When we do those things that we possess Talents for, we feel in control. It does not matter what is happening externally that is beyond our control, Talent is innate and hard-wired. Talent can be repeated without often thinking. Talent when used allows us to touch the lives of others in a
positive way and impact them.
Whatever your child does well, make them do it. Letting them feel their pain and loss by exempting them from using their Talents is the nonsense of ignorant and misguided fad therapy. You cannot stop the pain and loss, they will feel it and experience it. While in that place they need to know that within them is a source of strength designed to help them navigate through the present and the more that life will inevitably bring their way.
So if they play soccer and feel so down they don’t want to. Take them and make them. I have seen very few kids not get lost and be far away from the pain while they engage their soccer skills, or music, or coding, or 4H, or cooking or you name it. Make them do it. They may make a noise but get them moving and doing what they do well. They will always feel better because they are in control.
Secondly, don’t treat your kids like they are damaged or invalids. The worst perspective any parent can have towards their child in a divorce is that their child is now less than or unable to perform. Helping them understand that their circumstances have changed but that who they are as individuals has not. What they can do to give to each other and to others has not been taken away. In that light helping kids (as well as you as a parent) look outward and find ways to give to others is imperative. This is not about finding those poor natives in Africa who are starving and have less food than you, but being aware of others who also have needs, needs you can help meet.
If you have a child who is good at an academic subject, get them to help a younger child or another kid who needs tutoring. If they can cook, get them to make dinner. If they play a sport, get them to go play with other kids. Activity and action that makes others lives better and richer will always make theirs better and richer.
Take control and be a parent in the hardest of times. Engage yourself and do the hard things when you least of all feel like it and you too will manage this time of pain, loss and turmoil much better.
Mark R Demos, M.A., C-LSI, PFP
Author of “The DNA Code: The Forensics of Purpose, Passion and Performance.”
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