All of us are ‘pleasers’, at least once in awhile. It’s human nature to want people to get along, to have folks like us, to experience peace in our relationships.
For children going through divorce, ‘pleasing’ often runs much deeper. Kids are often caught. Caught between their parents and the end result of carrying the unhappiness, stesss and resentment their parents are contending with.
Kids experiencing divorce will often unconsciously try to please each parent to lessen the effects of the stress everyone is feeling. For kids, having a home where there is peace and a mom or dad who are calm and available is top priority-kids will do whatever it takes to change their behavior, to go the extra mile, and even take on things on they shouldn’t to experience this peace.
Parents can recognize these attempts at pleasing and reassure their child that they can just be themselves…that mom or dad have other people they’re receiving support from. They can also help by opening a dialogue about what helps their child to feel calm and safe at home, and what doesn’t. In doing this, parents can unburden their kids and allow them to get on with the business of simply being…kids.