How to Help a Foster Child Adjust to a New Family
Have Things ReadyThe first thing to do to help a foster child adjust to a new family is to have all the basics ready in advance. While the foster agency will do a home check to make sure you have the essentials like a bed, it’s also nice to prep with a few other things. Have age-appropriate snacks and treats, pajamas, clothing in the correct size, and some toys ready for when they arrive. That way you won’t be scrambling to find the basics when they get there.
Keep the Lines of Communication OpenAnother thing you can do to help a foster child adjust is to keep the lines of communication open. Older children might want some space and time alone to adjust to their new surroundings. Even if this is the case, make it clear that you’re available if they need to talk about anything. Give them some space, but check-in enough to make sure they know that you are taking care of them.
Be FlexibleIt can help a foster child adjust to a new environment if foster parents are flexible. Each child is very different with very different needs. Try to erase your expectations or past experiences and be open to a fresh start with every child you foster. What worked for one child may not work for another. Reset your expectations and understand that some children come into the system with emotional baggage that can make them react to things in unexpected ways. Try to meet every kid at their level and their own needs.
Be Their Parent, Not Their FriendFinally, one last thing that can help a foster child adjust to a new living situation is if you make it clear that you are their parent, and not their friend. Of course, you want them to trust you and come to you with problems. But you can do this while still maintaining authority. Make it clear that you have their best interests at heart and that you care deeply about them. But also make it clear that they have to be respectful of you and your family’s rules. It can be hard to know exactly how to help a foster child adjust to a new living environment. So much has probably changed for them that they might feel overwhelmed. You might be given very little notice and feel a little overwhelmed. This is why it’s important to keep some things on hand, like snacks, a few clothing sizes, and some toys for various ages. Open the lines of communication with them, but give them space if they need it. Just make sure to check in periodically. Be flexible and manage your expectations. Remember that everybody’s journey in the foster program is very different. And finally, make sure that you are an authority figure. Often the structure of a parent figure is exactly what can be the most beneficial to many children in the foster care system. Hopefully, you and your foster child can build a beautiful relationship together and you can be a real source of comfort for them in a time that might otherwise be very stressful.
An amicable divorce might seem like a fantasy, but it is quite possible. However, it does require some effort between you and your ex. It’s easy to get lost in the bitterness when you are going through a breakup and especially when you are negotiating assets. Things can quickly spiral out of control and into a place where you and your ex are very antagonistic. However, if you both commit fully to remaining amicable, it can go a long way. Never trash talk your ex, especially on social media. Try your best to not force your mutual friends to feel like they need to pick sides in your divorce. And finally, try to focus on putting your children. You and your ex will be co-parents forever, so you need to have an amicable relationship. Hopefully, you and your ex can work together to make your divorce a happy one.
Amicable Divorce: Is it Really Possible to Be Friendly with Your Ex?
One way to make an amicable divorce more possible is if you and your ex both commit fully to it. You will each need to practice self-control to accomplish this. It’s easy to lash out when you are negotiating your settlement because things seem very personal. Try to always take some time to calm down before responding if you are feeling heated. A therapist can also be a great help with trying to keep things friendly during a divorce.
No Trash Talking
Another major help when trying to maintain an amicable divorce is to avoid trash talking. Trash talking can only hurt your ex and doesn’t serve any purpose. While it can feel good at the moment to vent your frustration, if you aren’t careful, it can come back to bite you. Always avoid trash-talking on social media. It can also hurt your custody battle because it shows a judge that you aren’t prioritizing your co-parenting relationship.
Don’t Make Friends Pick Sides
An amicable divorce is more possible if your mutual friends don’t feel like they need to pick sides. This typically goes hand in hand with trash talking. Often, when you vent to friends they feel the need to agree and join in the bashing of your ex. However, this can create complicated feelings for them if they are still friends. It’s better to tell mutual friends that you are working on an amicable divorce and don’t want to lose any of them.
Put Children First
Finally, one last thing to keep in mind when working towards an amicable divorce is your co-parenting relationship. If you and your ex have children together, then you’ll be in each other’s lives forever. It’s important to remain friendly for the sake of your children. Fighting or trash-talking in front of your children can confuse them and hurt them. Being friendly with your ex will allow you to both be involved healthily in your children’s lives.
An amicable divorce is possible if you and your ex both are committed to it. It’s easy to get lost in antagonistic feelings in the heat of divorce negotiations. You’ll both need to work hard to maintain friendliness throughout the process. A therapist can give you helpful tools for negotiating in a friendly and productive way. Avoid trash talking at all costs because it can only hurt you and your ex. Another important thing to remember is to try to avoid making your friends feel like they need to pick sides in your divorce. And finally, make sure that you put your children first and keep the goal of a healthy co-parenting relationship at the forefront of your mind. Hopefully, you and your ex can get through the stress of divorce and be able to come out on the other side with a friendship still intact.
The Five Stages of Grief After a Divorce: Going Through the Process
DenialThe first of the stages of grief after a divorce is denial. This is when you are still in shock that the divorce is actually a reality. You might find yourself saying that it feels like a bad dream you need to wake up from. This is our brain’s way of giving you some extra time to process.
AngerAnger is the next stage in the five stages of grief after a divorce. You might begin to feel overwhelming anger at your spouse for many of your problems. This is a very normal part of the process and can last a long time. However, it’s important to avoid trash-talking no matter how mad you are.
BargainingThe next step in the five stages of grief after a divorce is bargaining. This is a stage where you might start reconsidering your decision to get divorced. Maybe things weren’t that bad. Even if the divorce was over something serious like infidelity, you might question yourself.
DepressionDepression follows bargaining in the stages of grief after a divorce. This is when the reality of your divorce has finally set in. You might be just now confronting what your future will look like when you’re single. This is a time when many go through depressive stages. Reach out to a supportive friend or find a therapist to help you deal with the depression stage, which can last a while.
AcceptanceFinally, the last of the stages of grief after a divorce is acceptance. This is where you begin to move on from the stress of the divorce. You might begin realizing that there are positives to come out of your situation. Hopefully, you are ready to embrace your new identity and will even feel excited about the next chapter of your life. The five stages of grief after a divorce can take a long time to get through. And each person reacts differently to a shock to their system like a divorce. For some, they might stay in one stage longer than others. Each person has to take their own time and handle things in their own way. Likely, you’ll experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance. You might ping back and forth between different stages. Or you might think that you’re past a stage and then suddenly find yourself right back in the middle of it. All of these reactions are perfectly normal and healthy. In time, you’ll find acceptance for your new situation. Hopefully, then you’ll be able to find excitement at the prospect of your new life and see the divorce as a chance to get a fresh start.
The Logistics of Divorce: The Details that Need to be Hammered Out
When to Tell PeopleOne part of the logistics of divorce is figuring out how to tell people about the divorce. It’s really best to keep your divorce as private as you can until it’s final. However, there are some people that you’ll probably want to tell ahead of time. For example, your parents or close family members. You should also let any close friends know that you’ll need support so that they can help you through the process. And finally, you should give your boss or HR rep a heads up in case you’ll be needing to miss work for court appearances and meetings.
When to Move OutAnother piece of the logistics of divorce is deciding when and how to move out. You can decide at any point when the time is right to have your partner move out. But you’ll have to figure out which of you will be leaving and how you’ll be handling the finances of mortgage payments. You’ll also need to figure out if your children will be spending time at both houses.
Changing Your NameAnother piece to consider when thinking of the logistics of divorce is changing your name. This process can be lengthy and complicated. You’ll need to wait until your divorce is final before trying to change your name back. But once it is, you can start at the social security office. Once you have your new social security card you can begin to change your name with other entities. You’ll need to update the post office, credit cards, bill payments, and others. You’ll also need to apply for a new passport and driver’s license with your new name.
Custody AgreementsFinally, one final piece of the logistics of divorce is deciding custody. You’ll most likely cover this in your divorce court meetings, but have an idea of what you’d like to get out of it. Consider things like what your ideal schedule will look like and how you’ll handle holidays. Also consider major parenting decisions like how you want your children brought up, what religion, how they’ll be disciplined, who they spend time with, curfews, diet, etc. Make a plan for how you’d like to financially prepare for schooling and child-care-related expenses. Most of this will be decided on in court, but it’s a good idea to have some plan for what your goals are. Divorce can be overwhelming and emotional. And often we forget about the smaller logistics of divorce amongst the more pressing matters. But the details are important too. You’ll need to decide when and how you’ll tell everybody about the news of you splitting up. You’ll also have to figure out what your and your ex’s new living arrangements will be. Don’t forget about changing your name. And finally, you’ll need to decide custody agreements and put a parenting plan in place if you plan on having joint custody. They say the devil is in the details, but hopefully, you’ll be able to prepare for these logistical details of divorce and make the process smoother.
Finding Confidence for Dating After Divorce: Find Your Happy
Take Time to HealDating after divorce is a big step to take. Make sure that you’ve taken plenty of time after your divorce is final. It can take time to heal from the pain of a breakup. Try to get comfortable with being alone and enjoying your own company. In other words, date yourself first. And feel free to reach out to a therapist to help if you are having trouble moving past the divorce trauma.
Invest in Getting HealthyAnother good step to take to get confidence for dating after divorce is to get healthy. Invest in things that make you feel good about yourself. For example, maybe that’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or teeth whitening strips. Consider joining a gym or finding a new exercise regimen. Exercising can boost confidence and release feel-good endorphins. A fresh start and new look can give you the boost you need to get yourself back out there.
Remember What Your Love About YourselfDating after divorce is easier when you remember what you love about yourself and highlight those things. Make a list of all of the things that you love. Maybe it’s your smile, your humor, your selflessness, or your eyes. Write down all of these attributes and find ways to showcase them to potential new partners. If you try dating online, make sure that your profile reflects your amazing personality.
Relax and Have FunFinally, the number one rule for dating after divorce is to have fun. Try not to take anyone’s date too seriously. Dating should be fun, so try to relax and enjoy yourself. Chances are that you’ll go on lots of dates, so try not to put too much pressure on anyone. Just try to focus on your date and really listen as they speak about themselves. Try to decide early on if they’re somebody that you could see potential in or if it’s best to move on. Finding confidence for dating after divorce can be difficult, but it’s important for enjoying your post-divorce dating life. Make sure that you take time after your divorce to heal from the stress. Get comfortable being alone before you try to find a new date. Getting in shape can give you an extra boost of confidence and endorphins. Make a list of all of personal attributes that you love about yourself. And finally, have fun! Try to relax and enjoy yourself. You’ve been through a stressful divorce, it’s time to get back to enjoying yourself and meeting new people.
How to Tell Your Children About Your Divorce: An Age Guide
Babies and ToddlersIf you want to tell your children about your divorce and they are very young, you’ll need to use language that they understand. Young babies and toddlers don’t really understand what is going on. However, they might realize that one parent is gone now. Reassure them that the parent didn’t leave them, but rather the grownups are dealing with grown-up issues. Reassure them that both parents still love them very much.
ElementaryIf you want to tell your children about your divorce and they are at an elementary age, they are more able to process what divorce means. However, they’re still unlikely to fully understand all the implications. Children this age are very prone to blaming themselves. It’s incredibly important to reassure them that the divorce has nothing to do with them and that they are very loved by both parents. You’ll want to reassure them frequently about this.
Middle SchoolMiddle schoolers are often already moody and angry as young teenagers. If you tell your children about your divorce at this age, you’re likely to see some added moodiness. Young teens often have a hard time opening up about their feelings to their parents. It might be a good idea to set them up with a counselor or therapist who can help guide them through their feelings while they process the news. Kids this age are also very prone to blaming one parent over the other. You’ll still want to reassure them that they are in no way to blame for the divorce.
High School and BeyondIf you want to tell your children about your divorce and they are older, high school, college, or adults, you’ll at least know that they understand truly what it means. However, just because they are fellow adults doesn’t mean that they need to hear any dirty laundry. Whatever the issues are between you and your ex, they need to stay there. Try not to involve your children any more than is necessary. Even though they are older, it is still unfair to encourage them to take sides in a divorce. The decision to tell your children about your divorce is a difficult one. But no matter their age, they deserve to hear it directly from you and your partner in a face-to-face meeting. Stay calm when telling them, give them plenty of time to process, and answer any questions. Whether you are telling a young preschooler, elementary schooler, middle schooler, high schooler, college student, or adult you’ll want to keep their age and development in mind. Keep things as simple as you can while bearing in mind the ways that children their age process things. No matter what their age is, you’ll need to reassure them that the divorce was not their fault. And of course, no matter your children’s age, they always need to be told that they are loved.
When looking for a divorce therapist to help you cope with the stress of your marriage ending, there are a lot of things to consider. You’ll want to find somebody that is successful, professional, and whom you feel comfortable with. You’ll want to decide some things upfront, for example, who you think would be a good fit for you. In addition, you might ask for references from friends. But keep your options open until you find a good fit. Ask about their credentials and make sure that they are licensed professionals. And finally, make sure that the person is a good fit for you and that you feel comfortable with them. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a therapist who is a great match for you and who can help you deal with your divorce.
What to Look for In a Divorce Therapist: Find a Good Match for You
Make Some Decisions Upfront
Before you begin looking for a divorce therapist, you might want to make a few decisions upfront. For example, you might decide that you’d prefer somebody of your own gender or close to the same age. If you’d like somebody that will guide you according to specific religious preferences you might want to decide that upfront as well. If these things are important to you, then you can search for therapists in your area and weed through some options up front.
Ask for References But Keep Your Options Open
It’s always a good idea to ask for references when searching for anything, including therapists. However, don’t feel obligated to use a specific divorce therapist just because a friend of yours highly recommends them. Just because they are a good fit for somebody else might not make them a good fit for you. Keep your options open when speaking with different therapists and don’t forget that you can always change to a new one if things aren’t working out.
Ask About Credentials
You should also ask to know the credentials of any divorce therapist that you speak with. Ask them what their training and experience are like. You should make sure that they are licensed, mental health professionals. This is the difference between a licensed therapist and a life coach. In addition, ask them how they’ve treated patients who have similar goals to your own.
Find a Good Fit
Finally, when interviewing or meeting with different counselors, make sure that you feel comfortable with them. You need to be able to trust your divorce therapist as well as listen to them. You and they will form a close relationship known as a “therapeutic alliance.” The success of your therapy depends wholeheartedly on the strength of your alliance with your counselor. The more you can trust them and be open with them, the more you’ll get out of therapy.
Finding a divorce therapist can be a little overwhelming when you first go looking. However, it’s important to take your time and find somebody that is a good match for you. Decide upfront if you’d like to look for a therapist of a specific gender, religious background, technique, or age. Ask for references but always keep your options open until you find a good fit. Ask about their credentials and ask about their success with other patients like you. And finally, make sure that you wait until you find somebody that is a good fit and that you will actually listen to. You’ll need to establish a strong bond with them to get the most out of therapy. Hopefully, you can find a divorce therapist who will be a great match for you and who can help you work through the feelings that you might have about your breakup.