Ways to simplify divorce for Your Kids
Having lived with someone for a long time, your routine inevitably intertwines your individual lives. The decision to end a marriage may come easy but this does not reflect on the complexity of the process
Ways to simplify divorce for Your Kids
Having lived with someone for a long time, your routine inevitably intertwines your individual lives. The decision to end a marriage may come easy but this does not reflect on the complexity of the process. For children especially, the fact that both their parents will not be living with them can be hard to understand, let alone imagine. There is, however, something you can do as a parent to reduce the impact a divorce is going to have on the children. Here is what to do;
Get over the urge to fight your ex
Even if the divorce was a unanimous decision between you and your partner it is not uncommon for spouses to fight each other over certain aspects of their relationship. In most cases, spouses express their frustrations through faulting each other for the failure of a marriage. Whether this is your case or not, the first step to preventing frequent confrontation is to forgive your ex and be grateful for the life you shared. Unfortunately, it is not that simple and for some people, it might never happen depending on the nature of circumstances that led up to the divorce. According to SplitSimple - a Chicago Divorce Mediation service - divorce can be simplified greatly. A long protracted legal battle drains money from all parties, and can encourage a never-ending war.
If you can't bear mediation, consider other ways to ease the process. For the sake of the children, could you at least avoid arguing in their presence? The idea is to help the children to view both parents as good people so that there is nothing negative to think about when they are alone.
Keep changes to a minimum
With divorce comes the need to change everything to do with family life; from the house, you live in, to the schools the children attend. If possible, introduce the changes early to allow children to get adjusted. Most of the changes that have to be made are inevitable and will depend on the available income of the custodial parent. Parents should be aware that any change or alteration in the routine of a child has the potential to cause trauma. Prepare the child in advance before the change occurs so that their minds are used to the idea that things are going to be different. This is also a good time to be open to the questions and negative responses your children might have. Most kids undergoing a divorce might seem to have adopted rebellious behavior and it might be helpful to speak to them about what is happening instead of rushing to discipline them.
Look out for yourself
It is only by taking the time to care for yourself that you will have the mental and physical energy to support your children throughout this transition period. There is no doubt that divorce can be a tough time and some people tend to completely forget themselves. It might take some time to regain your self-esteem but it will help your children to cope if you manage your stress. Children definitely need the unwavering support and care of their parents and there is no better time to assure them than when so much is changing around them.
Keep communication lines open
It is difficult to keep speaking to someone who does not want to continue living under the same roof as you. The reality of the matter is that they will always be your children’s parent. It is normal to feel offended up to the point where one parent initiates a back and forth to their ex using their children. This only helps to fuel hate in the child’s mind and since they may not be able to dislodge themselves from you, they could resort to isolation. Keeping the communication between you and your former spouse civil by recording it is more constructive. Let each parent keep the other updated on events that concern larger extended family or school for the other to either confirm or update their own schedule.
Remain positive when discussing your ex
They may be young and even appear not to understand the science of relationships but children know it when one person speaks ill of another. The fact that you are going through a divorce does not necessarily mean that your former spouse is a bad person; remember you singled them out for marriage and they were once your best. Now that you have decided to end the marriage legally, all issues pertaining to custody, visitation rights or child support are best handled by the court. Trying to force your children to take sides will only cause them to be more unstable. During times when you really need to express your disappointment of your ex, speak to a trained therapist or community leader but never to your children who will forever have a deep emotional connection with both parents.
The main point that all the above tips echo is the need to prevent your children from falling under pressure during and after the divorce has been finalized. As a parent, your emotional wound might heal in months or even a couple of years but the trauma of a broken family may be your child’s burden to carry for the rest of their lives. Take time to study the impact the divorce is having on them, then tackle any arising issues regardless of how old they are.
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