Divorce can put a strain on a once-strong parent-child relationship. Even after time passes, the introduction of new partners or changes in life can present unique challenges.
Taking time for bonding activities can reaffirm the parent-child connection and ease the transition during a divorce.
Painting, drawing and coloring
Creative outlets are healthy expressions for adults and children to vent complicated feelings. Either party might not be good at communicating the emotions surrounding the split, but drawing them can assist with processing one’s mood.
Parents should enjoy these sessions as free time without an underlying agenda. However, a parent can also ask sincere questions about drawings to gain insights into the child’s motivations and deeper feelings.
Exercising and playing games
Sports are not just a way to kill time. Working together as a team and even competing against one another are valuable bonding activities.
Engaging in the games and sports that a child loves can put the little one at ease. Exercise and other physical activities have the added benefit of attending to one’s health, which is critical self-care during stressful circumstances like divorce.
Reading and writing stories
Children’s books now openly discuss divorce and give kids a way to find healthy options for working through emotions. As parents read stories with their children, they can discuss how the characters coped with a marital split, as well as determine which reactions were beneficial and which were damaging.
Creative writing and storytelling time is another good idea. A parent may discover hidden feelings and sensitivities to better understand what is in the child’s head and heart.
Preserving the parent-child connection during divorce is vital for families to thrive. The preceding activities can strengthen the family bond and help each person weather the storm.