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Coping with “parenting guilt” after a divorce

Divorce is extremely stressful for the spouses involved. However, it’s also challenging if there are any children in your family. It usually means you have to drag your kids and their lives into your separation.

Due to the stress, parents often experience a tremendous amount of guilt due to the process of divorce while seeing their children less. It causes a significant amount of pain for parents and usually ends with long, tumultuous custody battles.

Four techniques to cope with stress

Parents don’t have to live with the guilt because there are ways to cope with the guilt and reduce the stress for your children:

  • Reflect on the decision – Most guilt centers on losing time with your children due to your decision. You have to shift your perspective to focus on why the separation is necessary and how it will help your children long-term. You can even write about it to help organize your thoughts.
  • Be honest with your children – It’s critical to be open with your children throughout the process. You will also want to validate that the separation will be beneficial in the long term for both parents, and both parents will continue to be active in your kids’ lives.
  • Rely on a support system – There will be overwhelming moments during the divorce where you won’t have a partner nor your children. But there are other people in your support system that you can rely on in those low moments. Think about talking to your friends and family.
  • Embrace the alone time – Instead of focusing on your children, you can use your new alone time to return to old hobbies or find new activities that you’re interested in. You can also use the time to process your separation and move to the next stage of your life.

These are only a few tips for coping. You can also find different methods that work well for you and your family.