After divorce, you might feel like your life is over, but it isn’t. You may be sad or angry that your marriage didn’t work out, but it doesn’t mean that you want the same thing to happen to your child’s life.
Here are ten things you can do to help your kids adapt after divorce:
1. Give Them a Chance to Grieve the End of Their Family Unit
Acknowledge that it’s okay for your kids to miss their father and what used to be. If they want, let them cry or say goodbye. Don’t tell them it’s not worth it or that they need to move on. Allowing them time to mourn will help ease them into this new chapter of their lives.
2. Hold Yourself Together and Keep Moving Forward
You’re allowed to cry and feel sorry for yourself, but you can’t let your emotions get in the way of being there for your kids. They need a healthy parent taking care of business, so if you want things to go smoothly with your divorce, don’t give up all your free time.
3. Don’t Try to Be Both Parents by Yourself
This isn’t a contest: you and your ex don’t get extra points for how many activities your kids attend or who gets them during holidays. There is no winner in this situation, so let go of the need to be both parents while you juggle your own life too.
If possible, reach out to others like family members and trusted babysitters to help support you and hire additional services such as housekeeping or home-cooked meals.
4. Go Easy on Your Kids; They’re Young, Not Stupid
If you’re trying new sexual partners right away after divorce, keep their little faces out of it! Even if they understand what’s going on, they don’t need to hear it. It’s important to let them know that you still love them even if you’ve found someone new, and that includes your ex.
Your child needs to feel like they can depend on their parent no matter what changes happen in life and keep coming back to the idea of family.
5. Be Consistent with Discipline and Expectations
Even after your child spends days or weeks with you and then several more with the other parent, they still need to know what’s expected of them. If you want them to clean their room, make sure you follow through on any consequences if they don’t listen.
Your child will thank you later for not giving in or letting things slide because it wasn’t convenient for you at that time. They may test the boundaries now and again, but as long as they feel secure knowing how much they’re loved and wanted by both parents, they’ll keep up the excellent work!
6. Be Their Rock: Don’t Put Your Kids in the Middle
Allow your child to support either one of you without feeling guilty about it. They’re young and just want to feel like they’re helping their parents get along, but when they become your go-between, it only adds another child into the mix that knows too much about adult affairs.
7. Don’t Use Your Child as a Messenger or Interrogator
Don’t ask them to relay messages between you and the other parent; if nothing else, it’s confusing for them! Also, don’t grill them about what went wrong between you and their dad or mom.
It’s a child’s job to be a child, and if you’re constantly asking them for child-appropriate details about how things are going in their other home, they’ll always feel like they have to choose sides. Even kids who love both parents equally don’t want to feel responsible for their happiness or fighting abilities!
8. Think About Their Future Together
You and your ex must discuss child support, child custody, and visitation before filing for divorce. Even if the idea of sitting down with your ex makes you want to eat a tube of cookie dough, it’s worth it to ensure that your child will be okay whenever they spend time with their other parent.
Consult a child support lawyer today to ensure that child support is on the table for both of you and that a child custody agreement is in your child’s best interest.
9. Don’t Compare Your Kids with Each Other
If you have two children from different relationships, then do yourself a favor and keep them separated in your mind.
Your child doesn’t need the added burden of competing with their sibling when it comes to how many friends they have or what grades they get on tests. They just need your attention and time, so give it all you’ve got without turning it into a competition with yourself or anyone else.
10. Know That They’ll Be Fine in the End
Divorce is never easy for any child, but if you make things as positive for them as possible during the transition, they’ll come out on top in the end.
Although your child may not understand everything that’s happening at first, over time, their personal growth will help them realize the benefits of having two homes to call their own!
Divorce is never easy on anyone involved, but it’s especially tough on kids. There are many challenges ahead, from trying to keep up with two homes to new school districts. This article explores some of the most important ways to ensure that your children will be just as happy and confident during their new life as they were in their old one.