It’s that time of year again: the first day of school for kids; sports teams meet again; book clubs meet again, and we are reminded again that structure and routine have its benefits.
After a divorce, the structure and routine are destroyed. In the past, mom fixed the lunches in the evening; dad got the kids out of bed in the morning. Now, there are days that you are a single parent and you must do it all. It takes time to figure out what information you should share with your ex, and it is even more difficult to figure out what to discuss with the kids. If it’s questionable if mom will timely pick up the kids from sports practice, should you warn the kids in advance? In addition to all these new problems and questions, you are just emotionally and physically tired.
You are not alone. In Kent County, 1,927 people filed for divorce in 2017. Many of them have similar struggles and questions.
More importantly, your children have their own questions. Although you probably told your children that you are ready to answer all their questions, you may not be able to do so. Some of your children’s questions could be about you: “Why did mom change?” “Why did dad do that?” “Could that have caused the divorce?” When another child shares his or her experience with your child – that things will go back to [a new] normal, it will be more believable and trustworthy than if you say so.
Divorce support groups for adults or children are very helpful in adjusting to your new lifestyle. The group can provide emotional support, group members can answer your questions, and group members help each other in practical ways.
Some of your relationships and separations were so toxic that a support group provides insufficient support, and a period of therapy will guide you on the right path. If you need a referral for a therapist, call our office for a referral. When you are ready to create new routines and stability as a new family unit, put a weekly get together with your divorce support group on your calendar. We’ve compiled a list of local support groups for adults and children.
If we missed a group, please let us know by calling us at (616) 285-0808. We’d like to provide our clients with as many resources as possible.