WT 009: How Do I Help My Kids Handle Our Divorce?
Divorce isn't the easiest topic to talk about, but it is a part of life. Birds on a Wire doesn't just want to encourage and equip moms during the funny, light-hearted moments of life, but during the tough ones too. We are so thankful for the wonderful questions we received this week about divorce. We hope this episode helps you handle whatever you are facing with grace!
Karen researched lots of resources for this week's episode, you can find them linked at the bottom of these show notes.
Question 1: “How do I my ex-husband and I help our kids work through our divorce? What are practical way that I can show my children that while the situation is sad, but our family is going to use this to make our faith in God stronger?”
Karen’s Answer: I think sitting your children down and explaining to them that “they” didn’t do anything to cause the divorce. That both mom and dad still love them very much and that will never change.
I also don’t think that it’s always the best ideas to bring God into the conversation while the situation is new and emotions are raw. That could turn them away from God completely. Later on, when time has passed, you can point out how much stronger they have become because they learned to lean in on God during the hard times, OR how God met them in a dark place and he restored their life, but I think while it’s fresh I’d leave God out of it.
Question 2: “I am a new stepmom to teenagers. How do I show them that I love them and accept them?”
Karen’s Answer: Figure out what each of their love languages are, and start speaking that language.
Stepfamily dynamics can be complicated. You’ve got two families trying to merge together, and it’s difficult. Children can be very protective of their mothers, so as the outsider moving in, be empathetic, and go slow. Always show love, and be patient. Show the child that you are not against their mom, you are not trying to replace her, but you want to find a way to fit in and make this new family your family. Your desire is to love them, but you aren’t going anywhere and you will be patient.
Question 3: “My ex-husband is getting remarried. How do I teach my kids that they must treat their new stepmom with love and respect? Especially when I secretly don’t like her.”
Karen’s Answer: I would teach them to respect her, out of respect for their father. The Bible teaches us to honor and respect my authority and to submit to authority, and when I do this God will bless me. I would teach this principle to your child (which I know will be easier said than done!).
We all have to try and honor and love those people that we don’t care for sometimes. In my life when I’m constantly with someone that I don’t really care for, I’ve asked God to show me what He loves about them. I know God loves everyone, and sometimes I wonder how he could love this person. But, every time I’ve prayed that, God has opened my eyes and softened my heart towards that person.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Helping Children Cope with Divorce by Edward Teyber
Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to Joy by Larry Crabb
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
The Five Love Languages by Gary Smalley
The Smart Stepfamily: 7 Steps to a Healthy Family by Ron L Deal
Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. If you want to have weekly encouragement emailed to you, sign up for free weekly tips of motherhood here!
And remember, if you have a question about motherhood we want to hear it, so make sure you visit birdsonawiremoms.com/askkaren and tune in each week to see if we cover your question.
Thank you moms, have a great day!