Supporting Your Child’s Emotional Health Through Divorce AND Pandemic

By: Ali Whitney

For many people, COVID-19 has added additional challenges to our everyday life, making everything a bit harder to handle. Summertime is nearly upon us and the school year is quickly coming to an end. Historically summer has given kids a break, whether they are visiting a grandparent, selling lemonade on their block, camping and hiking, the summer is filled with opportunity to be a carefree kid. Unfortunately, as many of us know, this one is going to be a little different. Summer camps are closed, cruises are cancelled, vacations aren’t possible, and playdates are distanced, if they are happening at all. For kids whose families are going through a divorce right now, this would ordinarily be the best time for them to get away from all of the emotional stuff. It is very important that children still have outlets to express themselves in a healthy way. Depending on the child and their interests, there are plenty of ways that you can ensure their emotional health is reinforced through not only your divorce, but also COVID-19.  

  • Ensure Communication: No matter what happened between you and your soon to be ex. If your child is accustomed to speaking with that parent, do not hinder communication unnecessarily. For your child’s welfare, it is important that while they are socially distanced, they maintain open communication with their other parent, especially if they aren’t seeing them as much as they would because of COVID-19. 
  • Therapy: Whether you think your child needs or not, giving them an outlet to talk to a neutral person who is not a relative or friend, is an excellent resource. Many therapists are providing the option for virtual appointments via video call platforms. 

  • Arts & Crafts: Doing arts and crafts helps children express themselves, improve their coordination, and think critically. 

  • Cooking: This is a great way to bring the family together, have the kids practice their math and reading, and it doesn’t involve social media (woot woot!)  

  • Zoom playdates: If your children are old enough, work with another parent to set up a zoom call so your kids can talk to their friends like they would during their lunch or gym class. Having those social connections is so important for maintaining a healthy mentality! 

  • Say I love you! These are hard times for everyone; make sure you remind your children that you are there for them and you will get through this together.