As a kid of divorce, you may experience pressure.
You may put pressure on yourself. You may feel pressure from your parents, school or sport.
Whatever pressure you may experience, it is important to acknowledge how much pressure can impact your mindset and goals.
Pressure can be overwhelming.
So, let’s break down how you can effectively deal with it.
What Is Pressure?
Pressure can arise when you feel stressed, anxious, tense, or burdened.
People can feel ‘under pressure’ when trying to meet a deadline at school or work. An athlete can feel pressure leading up to a ‘must win’ sports game.
Pressure can arise when you feel as though people are relying on you. You can also feel pressure when you are expected to achieve a particular outcome such as good grades.
When Does Pressure Arise In Divorce, Separation and Family Conflict?
You may feel pressure to maintain good grades and a social life whilst trying to juggle two homes and any family conflict.
You may feel pressure to avoid conflict. This pressure may arise when you are entering a high conflict situation such as your parents being in the same location or at pick up/drop off time.
You may feel pressure to protect your sibling from any family conflict.
You may feel pressure to spend ‘quality time’ with your parents since you go between two homes.
So, How Do I Deal With This Pressure?
1. Acknowledge The Pressure That Surrounds You
It is important to acknowledge the pressure that surrounds you and what might be causing this pressure.
Circling back to Example Three above – you may feel pressure to protect your sibling from any family conflict.
Acknowledging this pressure will make you realise two things:
1. That the pressure exists and;
2. That you care for your sibling and don’t want them to feel the stress that family conflict can cause.
Acknowledging and understanding the roots of your pressure can set you up nicely to deal with it effectively.
2. Communicate The Pressure That You Are Feeling
I’ve said it before, I will say it again – communication is key.
Communicating your pressure can in of itself relieve a heap of it.
Sometimes, as kids of divorce, we build up a heap of pressure in our own heads without seeking any relief from those that surround us.
Let’s again circle back to Example Three where you may feel pressure to protect your sibling from any family conflict.
Communicating this pressure would go something like this:
“Hey Mum/Dad, I’ve realised that I feel a heap of pressure to protect and look after my sibling. I especially feel this pressure when you both fight.”
Putting your thoughts and pressures out in the open through effective communication can be super helpful and brave. You’ve got this.
3. Reflect On What Is In Your Control And What Is Not
By focusing on what IS in your control, you may realise that you are feeling pressure for things that are actually out of your control.
When it comes to being a kid of divorce or family conflict, it is important to consistently ask yourself:
“Is this thing I am feeling pressure about in my control or out of my control?”
Once you realise the many things that are out of your control you will start to realise that focusing only on the things that are in your control will help you propel your future in the right direction.
Is There Anything Good About Pressure?
Pressure is often considered a negative feeling in the sense that it can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed.
However, dealing with pressure effectively can help you overcome some really big hurdles that come with being a kid of divorce or family conflict.
Pressure can help you build your communication skills, strength and understanding of what is in your control and what is not.
Hey Parents! Listen Up
Putting unnecessary pressure on your kids is never fair.
It is vital that you are mindful of how your actions or conflict can impact your kids and make them feel pressure.
Your kids notice your effort to avoid putting pressure on them.
It can seriously help them better focus on their lives, irrespective of your divorce or any family conflict.
You’ve Got This
Feeling pressure can be really overwhelming and common. You are not alone.