The following is an editorial from Kids First Parents Second….
Our nonprofit helps kids cope with life during and after the divorce process. Being on the front line has given us a unique perspective on issues these kids face.
When we first had kids come into our room they were polite, reserved and irritated. They were irritated that they had to take time off of a Saturday and be at our class. They were irritated because they believed someone was about to tell them that everything was going to be okay. Everything was obviously not okay.
The kids looked at us. “You want us to be talk about feelings?”
We found an easy way in when the movie “Inside Out” came out. It made it cool for kids to and talked to kids about anger, sadness, fear and joy.
We came up with a spinning wheel that kids could spin, which would land on different key emotions. When they spun the wheel the kids WANTED it to land on anger. Anger, anger anger.
It was these same kids who went back to their parents with smiles saying everything was okay. These kids were comforting their parents, assuring mom and dad that they were okay. That’s what kids do, they try to please and not cause unnecessary problems.
So parents in conflict are not going to get a true picture of how their children truly are feeling. Parents are in for a rude surprise when their children become teenagers.
Teenagers do not exist to please their parents. They are beginning their own identities and are on their own path.
Parents are shocked that their teenagers now have become distant or seem consumed with nothing but hate.
Anger was there all along. It was hiding inside the child but it was building and building.
Parents in conflict don’t see that because they are too consumed with the fight they have with their ex spouse.
So when you see that child’s smiling face, dig a little deeper. Don’t just ask, interact. You know your going through a major change in your life, know that these kids are too.