Michael contributes as a guest blogger to family-focused site, Outnumbered 3 to 1. Michael shares his thoughts on how religious faith or spirituality can provide short and life-lasting comfort to children during a parent’s divorce.
Divorce is an anxiety-filled experience for parents, but even more so for children if they are involved. However, children are far more resilient when dealing with divorce, and research indicates that one of the many sources of solace for children experiencing their parent’s divorce, is religious faith or spirituality.
Faith can provide a source of emotional support, whether through an organized religion or through a connection with a higher being. Faith can be a comfort in a child’s emotionally challenging period. Most religious faiths have built a community of people who can be a great support system to a child dealing with a divorce. They may feel more comfortable reaching out and talking to someone who isn’t connected so strongly to their family, or the center of the problem. Most kids do not want to pick sides and being able to talk to someone from the outside might make it a little easier to talk about the things that are going on, the feelings they are having, without having to feel like they are betraying one parent or the other.
There are other types of support groups for children, such as youth groups, to consider too. Children tend to open up around their peers, especially those who have dealt with similar issues. Beautiful, lifelong friendships can be formed in these trying times.
It is important for parents to encourage their children, let them know where they can turn for support, and let them know that they are not alone. It is important for parents to be proactive and guide their children to seek religious faith or spirituality for emotional support. Faith can ultimately assure children beyond their childhood experiences—that yes, everything will be alright.
With more than 20 years of legal experience, Michael Ian Bender is a practicing family law attorney concentrating on divorce, custody, parentage disputes, mediation, and advocating for children. Michael is qualified to serve as child representative, guardian ad litem and attorney-for-the-child in Cook County, Illinois. An Illinois Cook County Circuit Court judge from 2008 through 2013, Michael presided over thousands of cases in the Domestic Relations Division, Parentage and Child Support Section. www.benderlawchicago.com.