Summer Vacation Can Prove Difficult for a Child of Divorce
It’s summertime and school is out. Children across Florida are brimming with excitement about summer camps, sporting events, vacations and lazy afternoons by the neighborhood pool. But for some children, summertime creates feelings of anxiety as they struggle to cope with the changing dynamics of a family divorce. For these children, summer may mean leaving the home they know for the new home of one parent, or frequent movement between two homes.
A recent article in the Sun Sentinel explains some signs of distress among children dealing with the emotional turmoil of divorce and summer visitation schedules. The article separates children by their personalities and usual temperaments.
– Tactile children – These normally sensitive children may become aggressive during this stressful period, according to the article. Parents may notice that their child is pushing or striking other children.
– Auditory children – The chatter that normally comes from these children may slow down or cease altogether.
– Visual children – These children may become obsessed with appearance, paying particular attention to their clothing or surroundings. According to the article, they may try to hide the divorce from their friends and worry that the absent parent is being excluded from family events.
– Taste and smell children – It is normal for these children to internalize the feelings of others, but this may substantially increase in response to the divorce. They may become overly sensitive and react unreasonably to various incidents. These children may also obsess about the absent parent’s feelings.
Helping Your Child
Divorcing parents must care for their own feelings, as well as those of their children. Recognizing signs of distress is only the first step. Parents must work to promote a sense of security and safety among their children. Some of the advice given in the article includes:
– Ensure children that both parents are doing fine. Both parents should cooperate in presenting a united front. Arguing and bickering is hurtful for the children and reportedly increases feelings of anxiety. Parents should also refrain from speaking negatively about one another.
– Make family events inclusive of both parents when possible. When talking about the summer holidays, discuss events from both houses with excitement and positivity.
– Allow children to take a favorite toy or teddy bear to the other parent’s home. This will help them feel more secure and at home in both homes.
– Maintain a routine. Children want to know what is coming next. Try to keep up common routines at both homes.
– Keep the lines of communication open. Encourage your child to talk about his or her feelings. Create a comforting environment where they are safe to express their fears and concerns without judgment.
Divorce is a difficult process for all involved. Working together to care for the feelings of the children can greatly lessen their pain. At Vanessa L. Prieto, LLC we care about the wellbeing of your family and work to help you through the conflicts of divorce. Located in Fort Lauderdale, our office serves Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. Call us today at 954-800-2362 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.