Like living through a natural disaster, you survived the divorce and are left to pick up the pieces. And all the pieces are broken; your confidence, your finances and worst of all, your relationship with your children. Bad enough, they were put in the middle, used to deliver messages back and forth, but they were also exposed to the negative attitude toward you by your co-parent. At the time, it seemed to make sense to stay away. Or maybe you felt pushed away by your co-parent, thinking you would resume your relationship with the kids when things cooled down….. But, they never did. The hostility and vitriol became worse. Over time, you drifted further out of your children’s lives.
You may be wondering, “Can this chasm ever be bridged?” Or, “How will I ever fix things with my kids?”
What may become important, is figuring out how to use opportunities as they come along to repair your relationship with your child. When your child lashes out at you in anger, realize there is something under the anger; hurt, disappointment, a life without you in it and not understanding how that happened, or why. Take a moment to breath, allow the anger to be there. Acknowledge your own fear and hurt. Allow your child to have their fear, hurt and anger without reacting to it; this is easier said than done, but in repairing their relationship, parents need to start at their child’s emotional level.
Rebuilding a relationship with a child requires patience, perseverance and the ability to stay focused on your goal. In my work with parents, we develop a utility bag of coping skills to deal with the distress while working on repair. If you would like assistance and feel support would be helpful for you and your child, please contact Lynn for an initial phone consultation.