Is your child having a hard time accepting the divorce? Do you feel it is negatively impacting them? Divorce can be tough for everyone involved, but especially for children. Many times they do not understand why their family is no longer one unit and they can end up blaming themselves and feeling like it is somehow their fault.
In order to make the divorce transition easier on your children there are some simple rules to remember to help them cope with the process. Here are some ways that you can help:
Be sure to remind your child often of how much they are loved
When one parent goes missing and doesn’t visit the child as frequently as a result of the divorce, the child could think that the parent is upset with them. If one parent continues to disappoint the child, you should also remind them that their behavior has nothing to do with how much they love them. People sometimes hurt the ones they love and they make mistakes, but children can use reassurance when things like this happen.
Allow your child to vent
It is very important that your child has the opportunity to voice their feelings and opinions and that they felt heard during this process. Try not to make excuses for the other parent if they do something that upsets the child or cancel on their plans again. Allow the child to vent without apologizing on behalf of the other parent.
Always have a backup plan
If your ex-spouse tends to forget about their playdates or allotted time with the children and you are seeing a harmful trend, then it is time to establish a backup plan. If the other parent does not show after an hour or does not pick up their phone, have something else fun planned that you can do with your child so that the disappointment is not too much for them to handle.
Be open and listen so your child is more likely to communicate
Children of divorced families need to be encouraged to communicate. Ask them how they feel and have them voice it out loud. This can help them cope with any anger or frustration that they may be feeling. If they don’t feel comfortable voicing things aloud, have them write it down.
Be flexible when it comes to the visitation schedule
Even though it is important for children to have some sort of a consistent schedule for regularity, always be willing to change it up if the other parent is not sticking to the schedule.
Get a stable support system to help you
By surrounding your children with other loving, responsible adults, you will not have to worry as much about the negative impact. Having caring friends or family members around can be very healthy and good for the children during this difficult time.
Don’t ever fight with your ex in front of the children
If you and your ex-spouse fight a lot over finances, bad behavior or just their failure to stick to the schedule, be sure to have the conversation when the kids are not around. The discussion could also take place over the phone in a room where the children cannot you hear you so that they are not impacted by the disagreement.
Try and keep the peace
When you ex comes to pick up the children don’t create additional stress or tension. Always try to keep things as civil as possible. It usually helps to do pickups at a neutral location like a restaurant or at school, rather than having the other parent pick them up from the house.
Smile when saying bye to your children
When your kids go to spend time with the other parent you should smile as they go. This helps reassure the kids that you are happy they are spending time with the other parent. This can also eliminate any feelings of guilt that the children may feel about leaving you for the time being.
Act supportive when welcoming your kids home
When they come back from spending time with the other parent it is not uncommon for parents to feel disapproving or overly inquisitive about what happened while they were away. Rather than make it uncomfortable, just remember to be happy they are home and seem interested in how they are doing. Rather than thinking of all the time they spent with the other parent, just imagine that they came home from a weekend away at grandma’s house.
If you would like to seek legal counsel regarding your divorce or family law case, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. A San Bernardino divorce lawyer is standing by to help you.