Getting a divorce is going to have a huge impact not just on you and your spouse, but on your children as well. Finding ways to help your kids adjust to life after the divorce is important for their mental and emotional well-being. Keeping your kids happy and healthy will also help you to move on, so consider these proven tips for helping your kids to adjust.
Don't Play the Blame Game
As tempting as it can be to blame your ex for things (especially when it is really their fault), this only serves to hurt your children. Your kids have a right to a positive relationship with both parents whenever possible, and talking badly about your ex is really just talking badly about their mom or dad in their eyes. If you need to complain about your ex to someone, that is what your friends or family are for (or better yet, a therapist), not your children.
Minimize the Disruption to Their Routines
A divorce is going to be extremely disruptive to almost every aspect of your child's life. To the extent possible, however, it is important to help minimize the disruption when you can. Avoid changing their schools, making them drop out of sports teams or clubs, and keep them engaged in things they have always been interested in. While many things will change, having some familiar actives remain the same can be very helpful in the adjustment process.
Create New Traditions & Routines
Where things can't remain the same, make an active effort to create new and enjoyable traditions and routines for your kids. For example, while you may not be able to wake up Christmas morning with the entire family anymore, you can create a tradition of opening presents with one parent on Christmas Eve night, and the other in the morning. Finding ways to create a “new normal” for children is very important.
Encourage Questions & Conversations
You don't want to make your children feel like they can't talk about their feelings, or how this divorce has impacted them. Encourage your children to ask any questions they have, and have age-appropriate conversations with them. This should start as soon as you tell them that you are getting a divorce, and continue as long as your kids still have questions or concerns.
Get Professional Help if Needed
Allowing your child to see a therapist or counselor can be a great way to help them work through their concerns or anxiety. These people have been trained to be able to help children adjust to difficult situations, and can be extremely helpful. Many parents fail to offer this type of service to their children because of the social stigma around mental health, but experts today agree that therapy and counseling can be extremely healthy in many situations.
Making a strong effort to help your children adjust to life after a divorce can be difficult at times, but it will be worth it in the end. Remember, your kids had no choice in your divorce, so it is your responsibility to help them to get through it as much as possible. If you need help with your divorce, contact our firm as soon as possible. Let our team help you get through this tough time in your life. Contact The Tyra Law Firm to schedule a consultation today.