Parenting Children Through Divorce Will Test Your Coping Styles
So what are your coping styles?
Looking at your coping styles is kind of like going into your closet as a new season arrives to assess what you have for the upcoming season to handle the changes in weather.
It’s like emotionally looking at the changes that we might be confronted with in our lives. It’s becoming aware of how we deal with things and how we could modify some of our behaviors so that they are healthier.
Being aware of how we cope is not only helpful for ourselves, but for the modeling that we’re doing for our children. It helps teach them how to cope with all the changes that are taking place.
We all react to things differently throughout the day and we want to be in a position of being proactive, rather than reactive. Being proactive would equate to coping, being reactive would equate to being in a defense position.
We feel better in our bodies and in our minds when we are prepared by taking a moment to respond to situations, rather than feeling caught off guard, defensive, and reactive to situations. Better to take time to process and make a choice, rather than regret a quick decision we made because it was a knee-jerk reaction.
So, how do we do this?
Throughout any given day, we are hit with thousands of stimulus and make decisions on how to react to all of them. We have to become consciously aware of ourselves and our reactions to people and situations.
Things like breathing, becoming aware by taking a few deep breaths and just allowing our mind to process what just came in gives us a moment to think; How do I choose to respond to this?
In these moments of reflection you can choose your response, proactive or reactive.
Taking a few deep breaths only takes a few moments and because we are already breathing anyways, this is a tool you carry with you all the time.
So again, when presented with a situation give yourself a few moments to process and filter it through, then choose your response, proactive or reactive.
Another thing you can do when people ask or request something from you is let them know that you need a little bit of time to get back to them. Don’t feel like you always have to be on the spot with an answer as soon as something is thrown at you. It’s okay to say; “You know what, I need to look at my schedule, I need to think about that, I’ll get back to you.”
Writing things down can also help you to see things more clearly. It can help you make better choices and feel in control because you are coming from a coping proactive position rather than a reactive one.
Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Support System Inc
P.S. Learn the Five Critical Commitments you can make today that will empower your child before, during and after divorce.