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Global Guide to Divorce Available at your local bookstore,  amazon US, amazon UK
Jack Jack the Cat

How to Deal with Children’s Anger with Divorce

Divorce is a death of a marriage and former life. Anger is a stage in the grief cycle of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. It is natural for your children to go through these normal stages of grief, and dealing with their anger is an expected by-product of divorce. Even if kids are relieved that their parents are divorcing, there is still the fallout of stress and an upheaval in their lives.

How you deal with your own fury will reflect how the children deal with their anger issues. Are you erupting like a volcano or are you an oasis of calm? You are a role model for the kids, so think how you may be contributing to their angry outbursts. Exhibit the behavior that you wish your kids to emulate.

When I react, it does not work as well as when I pause and then respond. My responses are calmer, targeting the problem, rather than angry demands of my child. Reactions, as opposed to responses, are more apt to inflame an already volatile child, rather than giving guidance. Take a deep breath or count to three to maintain your composure when the kids are pushing your buttons.  Here are a few helpful ways to deal with your child’s anger:

1. Use “I” statements when addressing angry kids. Say “I feel disrespected when…” or “I will be fine doing that for you, when you ask in a calm voice.” You are taking responsibility for your own emotions and not giving kids power by inferring that they have control over you, as in, “You make me feel…” When you have house rules that apply to all, enforcing them is not personal.  A good standard rule is, “In this house we treat others with respect and use quiet voices.”

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