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Children may feel sadness from the separation of their parents when adjusting to a new schedule.

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

As a full-time stepmom who once was a 50\50 and part time stepmom I know all too well the emotions a child may experience while adjusting to a new custody arrangement.

Unfortunately, the child will feel sad at times and miss the other parent. I think us as adults, caregivers and stepparents its important to identify and acknowledge these feelings.

Keep in mind sadness is a human emotion and it is normal for anyone to feel sad when changing their daily schedule or home environment.

In this blog you will read some tips on helping your stepchild or child cope with feelings of sadness.

Listen to the child and validate their feelings without judgment.

Children tend to hide their emotions due to feeling like they will make the other parent mad or feel embarrassed.

It's important for the child to feel comfortable talking about their feelings and be heard.

Let them know it's okay to feel sad sometimes and the you are there for them if they need to talk.

When your child\step child is feeling sad try doing a fun family activity to distract them from their sadness.

Try playing a game, go for a walk outdoors, make some crafts or cook a favorite meal together.

Doing an activity together will help the child not think about their emotions and will give them an opportunity to create a positive memory with their new schedule.

Researchers say Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Try making a gratitude journal or picture book with your child. Talk about or draw a positive memory or event may help the child understand the new living situation.

Practicing gratitude will give your child a new perspective on the new arrangement.

My step-daughter Aliviah and I often talk about funny moments that have happened in the past. A good laugh sometimes can detour the emotions of sadness.

If you notice your child is still experiencing great sadness for a long period of time it may be time for some professional help.

Contact your local family counselor or speak to your pediatrician.

We haven't felt the need for therapy yet but if we feel our daughter needed it we certainly will seek it.

There are many more ways to help your child cope with sadness these were just a few. I hope you found this blog helpful with your situation.

I'm on a mission to help stepmoms live their best life!

What you do for your step kids is amazing and not easy.

I've created a program and empowerment group to support you with your every day life as a stepmom. From legal council, time management, communicating with your spouse, bonding with your children, to staying fit and living life fully.

Feel free to reach out to me and book a one on on call or to find out more about my programs and our empowerment membership.


-Jessica Phifer-Patterson

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