6 ways to help your kids thrive after divorceguest blog by Mason Brown
If you think divorce is a huge ordeal for you and your ex, just imagine how your kids feel. Raising children is no easy feat regardless of one's situation, and as parents, we want to do everything in our power to provide a solid foundation - to set them up for success. To help your kids thrive in the aftermath of divorce, check out these 6 tips to help your children navigate this major life event.
1. Keep routines stable
Make your child’s adjustment as smooth as possible by making sure routines are maintained consistently. Create a schedule of activities of who’s staying where and who’s picking up which kid, when. This way, you can let your kids adjust to a system that will become the norm after a few weeks’ adjustment period.
The key to this is also commitment. Once you commit to a stable routine, you have to follow it religiously to reestablish trust with your kids. In cases where you can’t commit to a particular activity, communicate it properly (and in a timely manner) with your kids and not just your ex-spouse so that they are reassured that they’re still your priority.
2. Speak well of your co-parent
It can be hard to prevent yourself from bad-mouthing your co-parent to your kids, but you have to try your best not to do so. Studies show that this is the number one trigger on why kids find it hard to adjust after their parents’ divorce. Not only does it give them a stressful environment, but it sets a bad example on how they should treat their parents.
Maintain a calm environment where it can be perfectly okay to co-exist as a family unit even if you are not on good terms with your ex. If anger starts rising, try to keep the negativity at a minimum. If there are things you cannot solve on your own, you can always get a divorce lawyer.
3. Communicate via email instead of in-person
Communicating over e-mail is a great way to keep emotions at bay when talking to your ex-spouse. Instead of talking in person where arguments may get the better of you, try composing an e-mail where you can compose your thoughts properly before hitting the send button. This can also help the both of you maintain mutual respect.
Seeing you ex-spouse’s name on your phone can cause a flurry of memories in your chest, so leave the phone calls to urgent matters. Restrict talking to your ex for a limited number of times to set boundaries.
4. Warm and friendly relationship
Develop and maintain a warm and friendly relationship with your ex-spouse, even if it’s not what you actually feel. As a parent, you still have to give your kids that sense of family, and divorce should never get in the way of this. Never use your kids as a way to prove a point to your ex-spouse. You are a big part of determining what kind of adults they’ll become. Always aim for them to be better than you.
Don’t worry if your co-parent does not have the same mindset as yours. What’s important is that you make thing easier for your kids by eliminating the negativity inside the home.
5. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
You need to accept the fact that things will get uncomfortable, one way or the other. Although divorce is generally more accepted these days and in most places, there still seems to remain a perception that dysfunction follows divorce, but with your actions, you can prove everyone wrong.
People will ask you why they haven’t seen your ex-spouse in a while, or ask your kids how they feel about your new set-up. This is bound to happen, and you need to be ready for it. Be a good sport and surprise everyone with how positively you’re handling the situation. Eventually, this will make the uncomfortable seemingly comfortable.
6. Give your child extra love
Your kids need your love now more than ever. Since you will not be with them 24/7, you need to double the effort in reassuring them of your love. Do not shower them with material things or free passes just because you feel guilty. The best way to love them is to show them that you’re there for them, even if you’re not in the same place.
About the author...Mason Brown works under a divorce lawyer. He loves to write well researched and high-quality content on different topics related to marriage, family, financial issues and business opportunities. He also devotes himself to coaching and counseling clients.