Coping with Angry Children After Divorce


  • Author Dr Marlene Maheu
  • Published March 9, 2010
  • Word count 391

Unfortunately, parents who had angry and ugly divorces often use their children and teens to get even with their ex-spouses. They might alienate their children by lying and letting the children believe that whatever is wrong is their alienated spouse's fault.

For this reason, the chances of the alienated spouse to get close and be loved by his/her children are lessened over time. The only thing he/she can do is to accept and live with the situation. It's not enough to just wait for the situation to get better on its own; it requires both action and patience.

The same dynamics exist in the children involved. After accepting the losses inevitably tied to divorce, they often can reconnect with the alienated parent - but only when the child is ready. This is where patience is needed. The initial anger often does melt into acceptance, but only if a mature parent is there to receive it.

Here are 12 tips on how to deal with most angry children:

  1. Love him even though he/she shouts, "I don't love you!"

  2. Show your love by expressing it. Talk to your angry children with ban even voice tone, no matter how nasty and mean they are when talking back.

  3. Write letters to her about interesting stuff other than divorce.

  4. Smile and say "How are you doing?".

  5. Don't take the barbs personally if possible.

  6. Tell your other children that mean behavior is not acceptable and you love their angry brother/sister.

  7. Take him to a psychotherapist if alienation continues.

  8. Sit with her and talk it out when you are given the chance.

  9. Ask help from other people who are close to her and let them talk to her about you.

  10. Reframe interpretations as neutral or positive.

  11. Try to get your child to say positive things about other things that you do.

  12. Take care of yourself. Do nice things for yourself when you are working to survive the feeling of loss and rejection by someone you love. You will need to love and nurture yourself. One easily accessible way to nurture yourself is to seek support from online or offline groups whom you can share from your heart about what's happening and how you feel. One such website is SelfhelpMagazine Both online and offline friends can be very helpful.

Dr. Marlene M. Maheu is the Editor-in-Chief of SelfHelpMagazine, an award winning online electronic-zine. Visit read more articles from Dr. Marlene and other professionals on how to reduce stress.

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