Going through a divorce is tough on you but it’s likely even tougher on your kids. Because children rely on their parents for stability, security and their every need, a divorce can pull the rug out from under them.
Help your kids to make the transition
The great thing about kids is that they can adapt to new circumstances but that does not mean that it is easy for them. However, you can try the following to help make the transition for your kids smoother:
Keep your routine. Consistency and predictability help to make children feel stable. So continue with your routines such as story time, family meals, Sunday outings, and birthday and holiday celebrations. If possible, try to keep your kids in the same school and neighborhood to further avoid disruption in their lives.
Emotional support. Your kids are going to need emotional support while they adjust to the divorce. Take time to talk to them one on one. Help them in any way you can to share how they are feeling about things. Initially your kids may also go through wide emotional mood swings, which is not unusual. If your kids know you are there to listen and comfort them, it will help them get through the loss they are feeling. If your kids don’t want to talk to you, see if you can get them to talk to someone else, like a family friend, an aunt, or grandparent.
Reassurance. Make it clear to your kids that the divorce was not their fault. Kids sometimes think that they are the cause of the divorce. Reassure them that the decision to divorce was strictly between you and your ex spouse and had nothing to do with them.
Continue discipline. It’s easy to feel guilty about putting your kids through a divorce. However, letting discipline fly out the window and indulging your kids is not the answer. Your kids will do better if they understand the rules and what is expected of them. Also, work together with your kids to set limits and make compromises when you disagree.
Maintain positive relationship with both parents. The fact is, your kids didn’t divorce their parents, and they deserve to have good and loving relationships with both of them. Do everything you can to ensure your kids have a good relationship with your ex spouse. Encourage your kids to enjoy being with their other parent. And make it safe for them to tell you all about it. Show them you are happy they have a good relationship with your ex and that their happiness is important to you.
Commit to your children’s happiness
Nobody enjoys a divorce but if you are committed to making it as easy as possible for your kids, you will have a much better outcome. If you need help resolving a custody or co-parenting issue, talk to an experienced NY divorce mediator about how you can resolve the situation.