Divorces are never easy, even if amicable, the dissolution of a marriage including a family can come with unforeseeable consequences. When children are involved, it is especially important to work toward making the transition as easy as possible for them. Here are some steps you can take to lessen the impact of a divorce on your children and help them thrive under their new “normal”:
- Minimize conflict between yourself and your ex. While there may be a wave of emotions that you encounter, making peace with yourself and your ex on even a civil level is imperative. There may be challenges in doing so but keeping the children’s best interest at the forefront of your interactions is the best thing you can do. In establishing a co-parenting relationship, being respectful by not speaking ill of your ex, and coming to an agreement on a parenting plan, your children will feel the support that is needed during this time. Ideally, the goal is for your children to spend as much time with both parents as much as possible, to the extent that it is healthy for them, without feeling torn between you two.
- Reduce the transitions your children will have to go through. Divorce brings enough change as is, any additional changes can impact a child significantly more. In resolving to reduce the changes in your children’s lives, the stress caused by the divorce will be less. Changing schools, the locations of both parents’ homes, commute time, quality of life due to split household incomes, and eventually new partners can quickly become overwhelming for a child. Some of these changes are unavoidable consequences of a divorce. Being mindful of what transitions are necessary, when, and how they occur are key in helping them adapt to life post-divorce.
- Take care of yourself. Self-care is important and often overlooked. During a difficult time, such as a divorce, this could not be more necessary. Focusing on your own health and well-being, will help you be a better parent to your children. This is a time when your children will need you more than ever to help them feel safe, secure, and loved. Focus on dealing with any painful feelings about the divorce or your relationship, utilize stress reducing techniques, and implement healthy habits. This will ensure that you are not only physically there for your children, but mentally and emotionally as well.
- Be patient with yourself and your child. You cannot fully prepare for the emotions and ways they can manifest in your or your child’s life. This is a time to be sensitive, patient, and have a little extra grace. Remind yourself of this in the days and months to come.
- Recognize the signs of stress. Consult with your children’s teachers, doctors, coaches, and other pertinent adults in your child’s life. They can help you identify areas of concern and provide guidance on how to address specific problems your child is facing. When it comes to ensuring your child is adjusting well, it truly takes a village.
Divorce can be an unpleasant experience; draining you physically, emotionally, and financially. When it comes to divorce there are 4 major areas that often come into play: child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets. While the path can be an unpleasant one, the help of reliable attorneys such as those at The Law Offices of McGuire & Bullard can make the process less stressful and burdensome.
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