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Grounding Techniques Help Kids From A Broken Home Feel Safer And Stronger

grounding techniques

Divorce can feel like an earthquake, shaking the very foundations of a child’s life. Nothing feels sure anymore and she has nowhere to turn to anchor herself. Grounding techniques can give a child from a broken home a way to cope when things feel so detached. Simple to do anywhere, in moments they can help with anxiety, confusion and feeling adrift.

A kind of meditation that incorporates solid items in a child’s surroundings, memory recall, or reassurances, grounding techniques will help her turn from her emotional pain to her simple surroundings. It can be used any time life feels out of control, whether at school, in a new home, or even at the mall. In addition to helping recover from emotional overload, these techniques can help build a sense of control and security that kids from a broken home often don’t have.

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Basic Grounding Techniques

There are four steps to any grounding technique:

  1. Open your eyes. Make sure the room is well-lit if indoors.
  2. Stand or sit solidly. Note your level of emotion on a scale from 1 to 10.
  3. Perform the grounding exercise, whether mental, physical, or self-soothing.
  4. Note your emotional level once again, from 1 to 10.

Mental Grounding

Children from a broken home can mentally ground using something in their room or wherever they are feeling emotional distress. A picture, doll, even just the door or classroom windows will work. They should pick something that won’t evoke more emotions. Next, they should describe, out loud if possible, how many panels or panes there are, what color the door or window is, and any other concrete details. If the object is a picture or a doll, the child should systematically describe the details she sees such as colors, features, decorations and background details. The technique can also work by recalling an everyday activity step-by-step, or counting very slowly and deliberately.

Physical Grounding

Much of the stress from a broken home is from the high level of emotions. A physical grounding technique can be particularly effective since it distracts the mind quickly. Have the child simply squeeze her hands and unsqueeze them, using rubber stress balls if she has them. Tell her to eat something tasty, and then observe each flavor without thinking of anything else. She can also bounce up and down rhythmically, or put her hand into cool or warm water. Carrying a grounding object, like a small stone or toy, in her pocket that she can hold and focus on will help also.

Self-Soothing Grounding

It’s hard to feel grown-up in a broken home; sometimes even teens just feel like a little kid again. That’s the time for self-soothing grounding techniques, where they are giving peace to themselves when they feel small and upset. Thinking of their favorite place, somewhere they feel safe and secure, they will calm down. They can remember a favorite color, food, season or type of animal, or recite a poem or sing a song that they love. Remind them to think of something good that they are looking forward to in the next week or two. In a broken home, there can be lots of frightening noise and actions. When things feel really rough, remind them that they can simply tell themselves that it’s only temporary, reassuring themselves with “it’s going to be ok” or “you are a good person” and “this will be over soon and you’ll feel ok again.”

How Grounding Helps

Grounding interrupts emotions that are starting to overwhelm your child. It’s like sending a train down a different track. Her mind will let go of the emotional overload in order to perform the grounding exercise, and the strong emotion will fade. Broken homes often have a lot of fear which children can carry out into the world, and these techniques will help make the world a less scary place by helping to manage emotions.

Give It Time

When a child first starts trying grounding, it might take a while to work. Especially if the broken home environment is still chaotic, she may have to practice for a while to focus on the technique. That’s ok; it might take ten or twenty minutes at first. There are many different techniques so that each child can pick her own favorite, so have her try several and see which ones work best. Depending on the situation, certain grounding techniques might work better for one type of emotion or another, too, such as anger and rage or sadness and grief.

Adults And Kids Can Ground Together

Kids from broken homes are sometimes alone and need to take care of their own difficult emotions using grounding. Parents can practice grounding techniques for their own use, and sometimes use them with kids for support. Encourage the child to use a technique, and demonstrate it to show that it is easy to do. The child may be skeptical since emotions can feel so powerful, but watching a parent calmly ground herself can reassure the child that grounding works.

Keep Using Grounding Into Adulthood

Childhood memories of a broken home can be powerful, even for adults. Whenever old memories and feelings come up, whether they come from the past bubbling up or some present-day memory that triggers feelings, just go ahead and ground. In an office or on the train, there are always ways to quietly do a mental, physical, or even self-soothing grounding technique. For adults who are part of a divorce, these techniques can be especially helpful as they experience strong feelings and still must meet their responsibilities.

Even Young Kids Can Do It

It can be harder to teach very young children how to handle their emotions when they are growing up in a broken home. They may not be able to identify them, but they can learn the grounding habits. When the child shows strong feelings and begins to cry and express them, an adult can help by providing something that catches the child’s attention and interest. Most children will follow their curiosity to notice the object and the details, and eventually their emotional state may change.

Preventive Grounding

If an emotional state hasn’t yet arisen, it’s still useful to practice grounding if the likelihood of one is high. A reminder of the broken home or some stress-or in it might automatically produce strong emotions. As soon you notice the situation, encourage the child, in a peaceful way, to practice her grounding.

A broken home is a source of confusion, loss, stress and fear for many children. Having a powerful tool like grounding ready to use can help kids to cool down when emotions start to rise. Parents can use it too, helping to prevent painful feelings and conflicts as they try to rebuild their lives.

How Divorce Affects Children And How You Can Reduce These Affects

How Divorce Affects Children

Divorce is one of the most difficult obstacles your child will face.  It has been proven that fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce.  How divorce affects children is different with every family because the parent plays a large role in how the children are affected. Here is a list of emotions your children can face and how you can help them pass through them.

They Feel Lonely

After a divorce, your children can feel lonely. Make sure to spend time with them. Give them as much time as they need.

They Are Always Sad

If you see your children are sad, comfort them. Make them feel we are there for them.

They Tell On Parent One Thing And The Other Parent A Different Thing

If your children are telling you one thing and telling to the another parent another thing, it could be possible they feel in the middle of both. Please don’t put them in the middle of you and the other parent.

They gain weight

Do you noticed your children are gaining weight? Check the food they are eating and teach them good habits.

I hope you learned something from the article How Divorce Affects Children. Do you noticed other type of emotions in your children? Please name them in the comment box below.

 

5 Tips for Dating a Divorced Woman

dating a divorced woman

You decide to get back in the dating pool and you realize that most of the women you have an interest in are divorced.  Dating a divorced woman brings a new level of complexity to your dating situation.  Here are some suggestions that will help you through this new adventure of dating a divorced woman

1. Give her some space

When you start dating a divorced woman, you will need to value her personal space and be careful when entering into her space.  Divorce is rarely a positive experience.  It may take her a little more time than most to feel comfortable around you and comfortable letting you in her space.

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2. Emphasize your strong traits

The divorced woman will know exactly what she is looking for in a man.  The first time around did not work for a reason.  She will have a list of “must haves” in her mind, and it will be better for both of you to know right away if you have these traits she is looking for.

3. Let her dictate the pace of the relationship

You will want to be cautious of how fast you make your moves when dating a divorced woman.  She is most likely looking for a mate that will fit her needs, and will take her time making sure that her needs are met.  Do not move too quickly, because to her, you will be invading her personal space.  She just might not be comfortable with her new dating situation and may need more time.  You will notice when it is time to pick up the pace.

4. Be a gentleman when dating a divorced woman

If you decide to start dating a divorced woman, you will need to show her that you are a gentleman.  If you do not open the door for her and treat her like a woman deserves to be treated, you will need to start.  It will be these small things that will help your relationship going forward.

5. Make sure she is grounded

Prior to dating a divorced woman, you need to ask her enough questions until you know that she is grounded.  A lot of divorced woman will start dating even though they are not over their ex.  If you are dating a divorced woman that is not grounded, it will most likely end up in failure.

You will find these 5 tips useful when dating a divorced woman.  If you follow these suggestions your dating experience will have a good chance at success.  Remember if you do not act like a gentleman, now is a good time to start because it will help you open up her personal space and speed up the pace of the relationship.  Dating a divorced woman has its challenges, but it will all be worth it in the end if you happen to find your soul mate.

Step Parent – From Frustration to Love

step parent

Almost a year ago I went from being single to married with two step kidsDivorce affects children tremendously.  These affects can be the cause of frustration.  But if you keep in mind what the kids went through, you will have a better understanding and be a great step parent.

Step Parent Frustration

One of the frustrations a step parent can experience is the fact that the step child does not know how to act in public with his or her new step parent.  For example, when at home everyone gets along and does activities together, but in public the child may ignore the step parent and keep a distance.  The reason is because being in public is a less frequent occurrence when compared to being at home in private.  As with anything new practice is needed or in this case just feeling comfortable with this new situation.  After time the child will feel more and more comfortable and frustration will lessen.

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Fun and Excitement

The definition of fun and excitement itself will change, especially if the new step parent does not have kids.  If the kids are in sports you will now get to follow some new sports teams.  This can be more fun and exciting than watching a professional team. When at home there will be some new activities that you will enjoy with the kids.  For example, tetherball, a game you never thought you would play, you might be playing it every night.  Fun and excitement will change from grown up fun to kid fun.

Love and Happiness

It does take a little time for the kids to gain your trust as a step parent, but if you treat the kids with respect, they WILL eventually fall in love with you.  You will also fall in love with the kids because of all the time you spend with them, and all the energy you put into being a great step parent.

I read years ago that love equals happiness.  If you are loved by many, you will be happy.  If you are loved by many more, you will be much happier.  I was lucky enough to find not only a great wife, but also two amazing and loving children that make me the happiest husband and step parent in the entire universe.

Have a great day!

Step Parenting Difficulties – The First Year

step parenting

Step parenting is enjoyable when things are moving along as expected but when things change, because children change, it is not always easy.  Here is how I would summarize my first year of step parenting.

Before Marriage

It is very difficult for any child to see mom or dad with another person.  They will sometimes show you a fake happy face and pretend to be happy with the situation, but that will only last for so long.  Eventually a breakdown is inevitable.  Regardless how long ago the divorce was, your step child will always hope and wish that mom and dad will get back together.  In my case dad was already re-married, but my step child still held hope that dad and his new wife would not work out and eventually mom and dad would get back together.  This was five years after mom and dad divorced!  Because of this hope, step kids will act out with the intention of pushing their step parents away.  We had many late nights of frustration.  But because mom and I understood that there are new feelings brought on by our situation, we took it easy and let the child get whatever they needed out of their system, and eventually things went back to normal.  Step parenting can be difficult, but only as difficult as you make it.  After marriage, step parenting changes because now the kids see this as long term and will now start confiding in you.

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First Year of Step Parenting

The best way I can describe the first year of step parenting is it is like riding a roller coaster.  Most of the times we ride up the hill, things are going great, and I feel respected.  Then WHAM!  Our relationship just went from great to frustration, and because I am new to step parenting I sometimes react too quick.  What I have learned during my step parenting experience is that I need to take a quick mental checkup before reacting.  Always remember that the kids went through a very dramatic life experience and a better parent will teach how to keep cool under pressure rather than show signs of frustration.

Even with some frustration and difficulties of my step parenting path I chose to take, I am a happy and blessed to have a wonderful wife and two step children in my life.   I would not change any of our past, and look forward to building a great future.

Have a great day!

Step Father – Tips That Work

step father

I am eight months into my new role as a step father.  I have a twelve year old step son and a ten year old step daughter.  I am not one to brag normally, but I think I have done an extraordinary job as a step father.  Today I will share with you some tips that will help you be a great step father.

Step Father Tip #1: Figure Out What Is Missing And Fill In

For me it was easy to see what was missing because the kids made it very clear that they did not like doing things by themselves.  Sometimes it is just as simple as sitting next to them while they do something else.  For example one kid likes to play X-Box and I will just sit with him and talk while he plays a game.  What does this mean?  Maybe their parents, in the midst of their divorce, forgot that what kids want most is to spend quality time with them.   This is one of the simplest things that I do as a step father that I know they appreciate tremendously.

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Step Father Tip #2: Add Laughter

From the beginning I knew one simple way to gain respect as a step father would be to find ways to add laughter to the kids’ lives. I knew that not only would this help our relationship, but it would also help the kids.  For example, one of my step kids and I watch funny videos on YouTube. There is not a better way for a step father to bond with the kids than laughing so hysterically that tears are running down your face.  Every now and again we search for videos that we have not yet seen and it ends up being such a wonderful part of my day.  Do whatever you can think of because laughter and smiling plays a major factor in everyone’s lives.

Step Father Tip #3: Get Interested In The Kids Activities

All kids have activities that they enjoy.  My step kids love soccer.  Right now they both practice twice a week and have at least two games each on the weekends.  Whatever your step kid’s interests are, make sure you learn about them and take part in these activities.  If you pretend to take an interest it will not work because the kids will read your body language.  I went from never watching a soccer game in my life to honestly enjoying watching every game they play.  I can see it in both kids that they greatly appreciate me being at their soccer games and are proud that they have a step father that is genuinely interested in their activities.

If you want to be a successful step father please do whatever you can to steer the kids in the best path possible because you will have an impact on their lives.  Let’s make that impact positive!

Effects Of Divorce On Children

effects of divorce on children

Below are four effects of divorce on children that I have experienced.  There are probably many other effects of divorce on children, but I will be discussing the four that I have experienced: sadness, attitude, withdrawal, and temper.  I will also provide solutions to solve these effects of divorce on children.

Effects Of Divorce On Children #1: Sadness

Sadness is one of the effects of divorce on children that I have experienced.  I mean, how can it not be.  Just think about how difficult it is that the two most important people in your life are splitting up.  How is it even possible to not cry yourself to sleep every night.  After a few years, the sadness will either get worse or get better.  It is the job of the parents to make sure that the sadness gets replaced by happiness.  To be honest this is one of the easiest of the effects to fix.  All you have to do is to show your child more times of happiness than sadness.  It’s that simple.  The more happy times your child has, the less time he/she has to think about sadness.  It is time to buck up Mr. or Ms. parent, take charge and show your child what happiness is!

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Effects Of Divorce On Children #2: Attitude

A child’s attitude is the second effect of divorce on children I am writing about.  The children’s attitudes will change because the divorced parents attitudes change, plus if they gain a step parent, the step parent will also have an effect on the children.  It is up to you, the parent, to change the child’s attitude.  Lead by example is what I was always told.  A bad attitude is a characteristic that can be changed very easily by leading by example.  You cannot fake attitude and you cannot pretend to be positive, because body language speaks louder than words.  First you must change your attitude to a positive attitude and then your children will follow your lead and do the same.  A positive attitude is essential to succeeding in life, so please, start today if you haven’t already and BE POSITIVE!

Effect Of Divorce On Children #3: Withdrawal

Here is the third effects of divorce on children, and one that is not as common as the others, but just as important to change immediately.  The kids your child plays with is a factor. If all the child’s friends parents are not divorced, your child will withdraw him or herself because he/she will not think the friend understands his/her situation.  I honestly believe this is another situation where a child counselor/therapist/coach would help, but is not necessary.  There are some good books that you can read that will help but essentially someone will need to talk to your child and determine the cause of the withdrawal and then talk through how not being withdrawn is better than being withdrawn.

Effects Of Divorce On Children #4: Temper

Temper is the last of the effects of divorce on children that I will be writing about.  Temper, in general, is usually caused by bottling up issues that are negatively effecting us.  Just think out it, if dad does something that a child doesn’t agree with, it will be difficult for that child to talk to mom about this issue.  Especially if mom and dad are not getting along.  Can you see a problem here?  A child trusts mom and dad, but after mom and dad the trust level drops off considerably.  The end result is the child will decide to not talk to anyone.  The longer a child holds in these feeling, the more frustrated he/she will feel, and after being frustrated all the time it will lead to a temper.  Of all the effects of divorce on children, this is the one that can be long lasting if not put in check.  The best solutions for temper is to talk to others.  Here are my suggested options for talking to others in order: a counselor or therapist, a school counselor or a “kids in the middle” group.  Unfortunately a lot of parents do not believe in having their kids talk to others because they feel they are admitting their kid has problems.  They do if they have a temper, and they need someone to talk to where they can talk openly about anything and everything.

I hope my suggestions and insights help you.  Even though there are many negative effects of divorce on children, they can be changed to positive with a little hard work and understanding that and all starts with you, the parent.  Be positive, understand if your child needs additional help, and keep smiling.

Have a great day!