*Remunerated Post *
As a marriage dissolves, parents may ask, “Should we stay together for our children?” Life after divorce is a difficult decision and one that might take some time for you to reach. This is a major moment in your life, the life of your partner and your kids, so it’s crucial that you take the time to make the right call for the sake of everyone involved. However, in many cases, divorce can often be the only option.
Even though parents will have a lot on their minds about the outcome, from the uncertainty of their living arrangements to the uncertainty of the custody arrangement, they tend to worry most about how their children will cope with the separation. However, with the right approach and the help of a family law lawyer, parents can greatly reduce the psychological impact of divorce on children and help them to navigate these difficult times with a little more ease.
Let’s take a look at how you can help your kids adapt to divorce with a few supportive parenting techniques.
The First Year After Divorce
The first year or two after the divorce is usually the hardest on children. During a divorce, kids typically lose daily contact with one parent, usually the father. This decreased contact affects the parent-child bond. However, most kids tend to bounce back over time as their routines change and they adapt to their new living arrangements. Others, however, never seem to get back to normal and they may even experience lifelong issues after their parents’ divorce.
Kids can have a very hard time moving from one household to another, whether it’s every few days or just on weekends. Each “hello” is also a “goodbye.” While transitions are inevitable, there are ways to make them easier on your children. Children often have a difficult time understanding why they need to go between two homes. Some worry that if their parents stop loving one another one day, their parents might stop loving them as well and this is a notion that parents must work hard to mitigate.
Some children may even worry that they are to blame for the divorce. Perhaps they believe they misbehaved, or they think they did something wrong which resulted in their parents splitting up. A divorce can often make teenagers quite angry, leading to them resenting one or both parents for the upheaval in the family or blaming one or both parents for the breakdown of the marriage.
Become A Co-Parenting Team
Even if you don’t like your ex, parenting is filled with decisions you’ll have to make together. Making decisions is much easier when everyone cooperates and communicates without bickering. When you strive for consistency, amiability and co-parenting, decisions centred around the well-being of your children tend to fall into place with greater ease. A child needs to be exposed to different views and learn to be flexible, but they also need to be aware of the circumstances that surround them. As such, the home of each parent should have the same basic set of expectations. Maintaining consistency between your home and your ex’s helps avoid confusion for your children.
Making Important Decisions As Coparents
You and your former partner must make major decisions together. Maintaining an open and honest relationship with your ex and being straightforward with your children is crucial. Let each parent know about medical appointments, whether you designate one parent to communicate mainly with health care professionals or if you go together.
Make sure the school knows about any changes in your child’s living situation. Be polite to each other when you’re at school or sports events, and let your ex know about class schedules, extracurricular activities, and parent-teacher conferences in advance.
Co-parenting can be challenging when your separate households incur costs. Plan a realistic budget for your shared expenses and keep accurate records to avoid confusion and animosity moving forward. When your ex offers your children opportunities that you cannot, be gracious and avoid starting arguments.
Conflict Resolution In Co-Parenting
During your co-parenting relationship, you and your ex are bound to disagree on certain issues, however, a little respect can go a long way. Simple kindness should be the basis for co-parenting. When possible, be considerate of your ex, try to be flexible with their schedule and take their opinion into consideration as well.
Be sure to maintain open lines of communication, continue having discussions if you don’t agree about something important, and avoid discussing your differences of opinion in front of your child. When you can’t agree, you may need the help of a third party, such as a therapist or mediator.
Make Your Divorce As Easy As Possible On Your Kids
Co-parenting is the number one key to helping your family to adjust after divorce. Following the tips outlined above, you can ensure that you and your ex manage the situation as well as possible so that your break up has less of an impact on your children moving forward.