You and your children will experience some of the same emotions as you process the divorce. Anger, low self-esteem, sadness, and loneliness are just a few feelings that each of you may go through. Be aware that you and your children may experience these emotions at different times and at different levels.
"Children will experience a different set of feelings as well, such as split loyalties to each parent, guilt, and the feeling that everything is their fault," says Linda Jacobs. "These feelings are natural and to be expected. You can help your children by letting them know their feelings are normal. Teach them how to deal with and overcome these difficult emotions."
"All I could do was be the best dad I could be," says Jerry. "I tried to minister to my children in every way that I could. There were deep hurts and anger that had to be worked through. Since I was the custodial parent, I was the beneficiary of a lot of their feelings. I had to deal with that and kindly take it into consideration because I knew they were venting a lot of their anger toward me because I was the most available."
If you are the custodial parent, you are likely the one who gets the brunt of your children's conflicting emotions. Pay attention to their actions and responses, and always ask questions.
"Why do you look so sad?" said King Artaxerxes in the book of Nehemiah. "You're not sick. Something must be bothering you'" (Nehemiah 2:2 CEV).