As a kid of divorce, you can find yourself making a lot of decisions.
This isn’t always an easy task.
Decision making can be challenging, overwhelming and complex.
This is why it is so important to develop your own decision-making strategy.
Let’s break it down.
What Decisions Do Kids of Divorce Have To Make?
You’re probably thinking – ‘everyone has to make decisions, not just kids of divorce.’
And you’re right! However, kids of divorce tend to have to make some decisions that can be uniquely challenging and directly related to their situation.
Let’s consider an example:
Your schedule looks something like 5 nights with mum and 2 nights with dad.
One of your nights with dad is a Friday night.
You’re at school one day and your friends ask you to go to a party on Friday night.
Your thoughts are: ‘I really want to go to this party and hang out with my friends, but I also want to spend quality time with my dad – I haven’t seen him all week.’
Inbound: your decision – do you go to the party, or spend the night in with your dad?
Decision Making Strategies
Having studied a degree in Psychology and being a kid of divorce, I get how difficult it can be to make decisions.
The above situation is actually one of my own experiences.
This is why I know it is vital that you figure out a decision-making strategy that works for you.
Let’s break down some tips.
Decision Making Tips
1. Determine what you want
To make a good decision, you need to be aware of what you want.
This is irrespective of what others may want.
Let’s circle back to the example above.
You know you should spend time with you dad because that is what he wants, however, you want to hang out with your friends.
2. Find a balance
Identifying what you want is step number one, now it’s time to find a balance between what you want and what you need.
What does this mean? Well, from previous blogs, we know that it is important to maintain a relationship with your parents, however, not at the cost of your own happiness.
So, we find a balance – you want to hang out with your friends, so you organise to spend quality time with your dad the following day – balance achieved!
3. Communicate your decision-making process
As with everything, Communication! Is! Key!
Why? Because you are not alone, and people want to help you with challenging decisions!
How? “Hey Dad, I really want to hang out with my friends on Friday night, but I know it's one of our only nights together, I am trying to decide about what to do.”
No matter what your parents' response, the decision is yours, however, communicating where you’re at can always help you think clearly and in your best interests.
Any Other Tips?
For sure! There are numerous strategies that you can adopt to make your decisions, especially in a kid of divorce context – however, the above are three very general tips that you can start with.
As I always say, your situation is unique, and nobody can ever take that away from you. Tailoring your decision-making strategy to you and your life will help you maximise what works best for you.
Hey Parents! Listen Up
Helping your kids make decisions is a must.
Providing your kid with the appropriate amount of independence to make their own decisions will help build their skill set and autonomy in life.
Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not encouraging you to place all the responsibility and complex decision making onto your kid. I am however encouraging your support and understanding of your kid when they are required to make decisions.
Your kid needs to do what makes them happy. You can help facilitate this, simply by being aware of the challenges associated with decision making as a kid of divorce.
You Are Not Alone
I am here to listen and remind you that you are not alone.