Divorce isn’t easy for anyone, which is why it’s good to have someone to talk to. For parents, the separation becomes infinitely more complicated. Even though you’re splitting up with your partner, you still have the children to think about. To protect them and their relationships with both their parents, it’s important to keep things as amicable as possible. Here are few other tips for helping your family adjust to the new circumstances.
While it’s not always possible to stay in the same home, it’s better if you don’t have to uproot your kids entirely. When they can stay in familiar surroundings and go to the same school and see the same friends, it helps them cope with the other big changes in their lives. If you do have to move, it’s important to help them through the transition and maybe schedule play dates with their old friends.
It’s also important to spend extra time with your children. They may not want to talk about their problems with you, but they need to know that you still love them and will be there for them. Your children may also act like they don’t care and just go about their usual activities, but don’t let that deceive you. Kids deal with life through play, and they still need time to work through their feelings. It’s important to let them know you’re available to talk if they want to.
Have a Conversation
Your children need to know that you still love them even if their parents are no longer together. Since parents often fight about how to raise the children, it’s easy for a child to assume that it’s their fault the marriage is over. You must have a conversation with your child about the new arrangements and be ready to answer their questions. In fact, you’ll probably have many talks over the coming months and years.
It may also be tempting to vent to your child about your own feelings, but that’s not a good idea. You should enlist a friend, family member, or counselor to talk through your feelings, even though it may be tempting to lean on your child. Even if your child seems old enough to understand what is happening between you and your ex-partner, it’s important to let them be a child for a little while longer. Children often wish that their parents get back together, and it’s important not to kindle these hopes if they’re unrealistic.
Deal with Your Ex Directly
It’s understandable that you may not want to talk to your ex-spouse at all right now or ever. However, when you have children, you’ll have to learn how to be around each other occasionally. You’ll also have to find a way to discuss the things that concern the children, especially when it comes to arranging visitation times for the non-custodial parent.
It’s important for your children that they can stay in contact with both their parents. You should also refrain from bad-mouthing their other parent in front of the children. Since the kids share genes from both their parents, they may take the criticism personally. Additionally, you don’t want to deprive them of having a healthy relationship with both their parents.
It may be tempting but you shouldn’t use your children as messengers between the two of you. In the world of electronic communication, you can work out most issues without even talking to your ex in person if you don’t want to. And if there is an issue you don’t agree on, you really don’t need to bring your child into the conflict unnecessarily.
Plan for the Long Term
Even after the divorce is final, you’ll still have to deal with conflict. Ideally, you should have arguments with your ex while the children are out of earshot. Additionally, you should agree to foster the bond between each child and parent. A child should never have to choose between their parents. Of course, it may be helpful to enroll in counseling for yourself and the children if you notice behavioral problems or signs that the child is struggling. Finally, while it’s important to meet the needs of your children, you can’t neglect taking care of yourself during this stressful time.
Going through a divorce is difficult for parents. That’s why you need an experienced divorce attorney to help you sort out the details of the separation. At The Harr Law Firm, you’ll receive the support you need to help you concentrate on what’s most important: the children. Give the team a call or use the contact form to get in touch.