It’s not just you or your ex who’s hurting after a divorce. Kids bear all the unpleasant things from the break-up, too. The only difference is that you have a much deeper understanding of the situation, so you get to glide through this new chapter in your life with a bit more control. Your children might not have that. That’s why it’s important to help them every step of the way in this transition period. You want to make sure that there will be as minimal emotional scars and bruises as possible from this painful life event. That said, here are some to-do’s to keep in mind as you help your children adjust to changes:
Tell them what to expect.
One of the reasons this phase in your child’s life is very overwhelming is the fact that they know little about it. For sure, they wonder things like, ‘What happens to me now that mom and dad have broken up?’ ‘Where should I live?’ ‘Will I have a new mom now?’ Whether or not they verbalize this confusion, you should be able to lay down the things they should expect from this transition. At the top of that list are the custody and visitation. Your kids must know as soon as the court’s order gets finalized where they will be staying at when exactly. A divorce attorney in Colorado Springs highly recommends consulting again your lawyer for the specifics of the co-parenting set-up, lest you forget when to pick up your daughter, provoke your spouse, and be dragged to court again. Be a good parent by honoring the court’s order.
Seek out familiarity.
It’s not enough to list down all the changes kids should expect and then let them be on their own. If you think about what they had to go through, living in two separate houses, spending family time with dad or mom, never both, welcoming dad’s new girl, it’s impossible not to lose your mind in all these. In times of huge, drastic transitions, what your kids need is something stable or constant. So it’s good to have a ritual of some sort. For example, when they’re used to eating snacks when they get home after class, keep that routine, whether they’re at your place or your ex-partner’s. If they’re into coloring stuff before doing homework, let them have it, again wherever they are. If you’re not into routines, focus on familiar objects instead. Replicate their room at your family home at your very own space. Maybe not an exact match, but let them have their favorite blanket or their favorite color on the walls.
Keep a positive atmosphere.
Some kids feel guilty when they spend time with one parent, leaving the other. And so every time, it feels like a tug-of-war for them. They never win though because, in the end, they have this unsettling feeling of unhappiness. It’s your responsibility to break up this unpleasant feeling. Reassure the kids that they’re not hurting you for enjoying time with their dad or mom. You, in fact, want them to be happy and feel loved. Remind them that even though you decided to break up, you’re still going to be parents. If it will make them feel better, you could tell them that you actually appreciate some alone time.
A Smooth Transition
It’s never easy for kids to deal with such a jarring, painful life event like divorce. That’s why parents need to cushion the blow as much as you can. Remember these to-do’s as you strive for a smooth adjustment.