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Divorce: A way to teach children about handling conflict

Many Georgians are bitter after a divorce and with good reason. There is so much stress involved because a divorce means so many changes, including changes in living arrangements, finances and child-rearing. When children are involved, a divorce can be exponentially stressful. However, there are two ways to handle it: Think negatively and be bitter or handle it head-on and focus on the positives. Experts recommend you do the latter.

Parents often forget that everything they do is seen by their children. Everything they say and do is being scrutinized. Even the youngest children can sense their parents' emotions. When they see their mother or father acting a certain way, then they think that's the right way to behave. This will predict how a child will handle conflict as he or she gets older.

It is recommended that parents take the high road and act with integrity after a divorce. It will give kids a good example to see their parents handling extreme emotions and tackling challenges head-on. Having these tools will help them in many aspects of their everyday life, from school to work to relationships.

Instead of being negative about the situation, parents would do well to use divorce as learning opportunity. Children need to learn early on that not everything will go their way. Conflicts will occur, but it's not the end of the world when they do.

Parents can teach children that's OK to seek help from others when they face challenges. Nobody has the answers to everything, so it's perfectly acceptable to get financial or legal help. Even counseling is recommended to help people move on.

A divorce can be very painful, but there are many good things that can come from it. By having an open mind, you can move on to new opportunities and even better relationships.

Huffington Post, "Divorce As a Teaching Tool" Allison Pescosolido, M.A, Nov. 21, 2013

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