Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Three Family Problems And How You Can Help Your Kids Deal With Them

Unfortunately, sometimes in life, no matter how much you’d like to shield your kids from everything bad that the world might throw at them, that isn’t always possible. The important thing is that you can tackle these issues head on, enabling your kids to handle similar situations in the future.


When a bereavement happens in the family, it can be difficult to handle your own emotions as well as those of your kids. First of all, you need to consider how exactly you want to speak about death with your kids - some people are religious so they will talk about heaven, but if your family doesn’t talk about religion this might prove to be confusing for your kids. Similarly, phrases like ‘Grandma has gone to sleep’ might also be confusing, and might also lead your kids to be afraid of going to sleep themselves. You may feel that the funeral is too much for small children, and if so, it may be a good idea to have your own ‘saying goodbye’ ceremony at home.



First and foremost, it’s important to remember that addiction is an illness. Substance abuse is often caused by people who are unhappy or who suffer from mental illness trying to find a solution to make them feel better - and obviously, long term this doesn’t work. It’s a thorny subject that’s full of emotions and it can be difficult to explain to a five year old, for instance, why their grandfather is sometimes sick and unable to look after them or unavailable to speak. Framing it to your kids as an illness is something that they will find much more manageable and easy to understand - you may feel some resentment towards an addict in your family and the way that it impacts your life, but remembering that addiction is a disease and not a choice may go some way towards making you feel better. You should also remember that when it comes to addiction, your main priority should be to focus on the wellbeing of your kids. Take your relative to an intervention specialist, help them get back on their feet, but don’t prioritise them to the detriment of your kids’ lives.



If you’re splitting up with a partner, you need to remember that you are not the only person going through pain: your kids’ lives are also changing dramatically. These days more and more kids come from households where their parents are no longer together or where they live with step-parents and siblings, which means that your own children probably won’t be too confused over what your divorce may entail. Make sure that you fully explain what’s happening and how their lives will change, and emphasise that it isn’t their fault. Also, even if it’s hard for you, work to maintain their relationship with their other parent, and don’t badmouth them. Making your kids feel as if they’re caught between their parents will make them unhappy.

Finally, remember that therapy is the best option for families who are going through difficult times. A therapist will help your kids talk through their feelings and find coping mechanisms.

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