Divorce: It’s Not Your Fault

Divorce: Why It’s Not Your Fault

By: Maddi Clark

2 years ago I would be described as having the perfect “cookie-cutter family”-my father worked all day every day, 7 days a week, while my mother had the quote-on-quote “housewife” position, taking care of the kids, cooking, and the overall general housework. Divorce was never a topic that came up in our family-I had never really seen my parents fight, there was no work problems, and my siblings were generally happy. So when my mother discussed divorce plans with me one night, I was completely thrown off.

  Divorce is always a sensitive topic to discuss because it’s different for everyone who experiences it. No matter if it occurred at a young age or further along in your life, it’s still a tough obstacle to get through. My family’s divorce is fairly recent, which means I’m still working to figure it out and deal with the emotional weight that follows. However, I do think it’s important to discuss tips like these, and how you can cope.

One of the first things I had to come to terms with were the conflicting emotions that came along with it. I felt for a long time I had to choose a side over both parents, which was entirely not the case. You can still love your two parents equally even after divorce. Don’t feel obligated to choose or like one parent more than the other. Now, everyone’s situation is different, but it’s still important to try and keep a bond with both parents. Talk to them, go for a walk, schedule an activity to do with just one of them. The more time you spend with them, the more you may grow to understand or come to terms with what’s going on. By spending time with both, you’re still letting them know you care, while they’re showing they will always care about you.

 Living most of the time with one parent was something I was confused and nervous about. There’s always a question of which one you’ll be living with (in my case, it was my mom, but it’s different for everyone who experiences it) and how often you’ll be able to see the other. Your parents will most likely set up a schedule, that will show when you’ll be with one, and what days you’ll visit the other. It can seem a bit weird at first to be visiting a new house/apartment your other parent lives in, but over time, you’ll get used to it and maybe even enjoy your time there.

A lot of kids I’ve met that have gone through a divorce were most worried about finances. Either the parent  they were staying with most of the time didn’t have a job, or the parents both made money, but one made significantly more than the other. Kids often wonder if the life they had led before will still be able to happen, but most aspects of your life will stay the same.There is a required payment in a divorce with kids called child support that is paid by the parent who does not have you full time. This ensures you will have food, clothing, and shelter, and will keep you provided for. Don’t stress-financial problems are probably already taken care of. If the parent you’re staying with doesn’t currently have a job, they will find one. My mother didn’t, and now she’s a full time teacher. Give it time, and everything will work out.

Even though this is an event taking place between your parents, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Something like this is extremely stressful situation, and personal health is more important than ever. Go exercise, surround yourself with friends, get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet-it won’t only help you feel better, but it helps to take your mind off the stressful situation taking place in your life.This doesn’t just stop at physical-being emotionally and psychologically well in addition can help you to have a different outlook on the situation. Talk to people, get your feelings out, and make a plan for your next move.  Remember, you are worth more than you know-take care of yourself and improvement will follow.

 No matter what, divorce is never the child’s fault. Don’t think you’re at fault for your parents split, because that’s not the case. Your parents love you very much and still want to be a part of your life, and that will happen. It’s a tough and scary road at first, but eventually everything will turn out just fine. Be strong, you can do this.

-Maddi


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