As the season changes, school starts, the days get shorter and cooler and the fall begins. Many of us are sad that the summer is over. And some people have major life events that are changing. Most of us resist change because it is difficult.
But change is inevitable, actually it is the only thing that is guaranteed in life. The Buddhists tell us that we suffer because we resist change, rather than embracing it. It sounds simple, but it’s not! We like life to be comfortable, stable, staying the way it has been.
Many changes are painful. Separation and divorce end long established comfortable patterns without a road map for new paths. We worry about how the children will deal with only one parent at a time, instead of both. We worry that they will have a hard time going back and forth from one home to another, as they spend time with their two parents separately. We worry how the children will deal with meeting new partners and possibly integrating new kids into their lives. In short, we worry how our kids will deal with change.
The key is, how we deal with change. Parents are the role models for children. If parents are mopng around, being depressed and having difficulty accepting the new situation, the kids will probably have a hard time too. If parents can embrace the change, though difficult, and acknowledge reality but move forward in a positive way, reassuring their children that they will be ok, they will. Kids take direction from parents, both consciously and unconsciously.
Sometimes, it really is hard and people need help to get to a better place. That’s what therapists are for ! Speaking with a therpaist is a way to vent feelings and work through the pain and anger without acting it out in front of the kids. The “rules” to help kids through a separation involve
– not talking about the other parent with them, especially, not bad mouthing the other parent
– never asking the children about the other parent
– ideally being able to be friendly with the other parent in front of the children so they feel comfortable
– reassuring the children they are loved and that the separation had nothing to do with them
Change closes old doors, but when doors close, other ones open. New doors are scary to walk through, not knowing what is on the other side, but often, better times are on the other side. Life involves risks and going with the flow of change ultimately enhances life.