Last time, we identified ways to get involved in our children’s lives by engaging in their interests. Kids, like adults, experience and feel love in a variety of ways. They are popularly referred to as “Love Laguages”, these are basic ways an individual recognizes affection. Recognizing love and the positive chemical responses it triggers in the brain that improve problem solving, rational thinking and reduce the likelihood of drug and alcohol addictions in later years.
So by making emotional investments in our children, we are improving their odds of being responsible, contributing adults. So back to how we invest. Remember that list you made of things your child enjoys, and how you can support them? Each time you act on one of those, you are investing! A hug, words of reinforcement ie… I’m proud of you, You are smart, I’m impressed with how well you handled that, you’re such a good problem solver, etc… and acts of trust are all emotional investments.
Now for more homework:
I want you to make a chart, keep it handy, on your phone or taped to the fridge, and give your self a tally for every “investment” you make, pay close attention to the tallies you give yourself for verbal investments (words of affirmation), time investments (quality time), and physical investments (hugs, holding hands, sitting together to read). Make notes on the things your child responds to best, or what makes them uncomfortable. For example, one of my kids prefers quality time and words of affirmation, while my other responds best to hugs and physical closeness. By knowing this about my children, I can prioritize my schedule to accommodate multiple needs for love and maximize the investments that matter most to each child.
I know this has been a lot of information over the last few blogs, and you’re probably thinking “how the heck is this going to help me in my divorce?”
We’re going to get more into the why in part three, but here’s the gist; Divorce is a huge emotional “withdrawal” from the parent-child bank of emotional stability. So if you aren’t in the habit of making regular investments, the fallout is going to be much harder.
That’s all for now folks, until next time!
Please visit our resource page for links to books that can give more details on co-parenting and helping children adjust to separation and divorce. If you have a topic you would like to see a blog post on, or questions about the above post, you can send an email to Megan at Support@DivorceNM.com
Megan BS FCS