Responding to Different Reactions

Advice for coping with the different reactions children may have to a divorce.

  1. Watch the video as a group, then begin a conversation. Explain that there’s no right way for children to feel or act in response to a divorce: Just like adults, all children respond differently. It may depend on age, personality, or temperament. What’s important is that kids feel safe to express these feelings. Begin by asking, “What were your observations about 11-year-old Victoria in the first half of the video?”
  2. Point out the different ways Margie’s children responded to her divorce (the second half of the video). Ask, “How does Margie handle these different reactions?”; “How does she support and comfort each child?”; “What seems to help?”
  3. Split into pairs or smaller groups to share personal experiences and discuss how different members of families (kids and adults) have responded to their divorce. Encourage them to share strategies that have worked in responding to these kinds of reactions.
  4. Regroup to share thoughts and strategies from the conversations. List these observations and strategies on chart paper or a whiteboard (you might also photograph it and e-mail it to parents).