Divorce is a difficult process for many couples. Often, this process becomes even more complex when children are involved. The purpose of this article is to help you learn how to comfort and help your children as they learn how to adjust to their new life.
Let Your Child Decide
Every couple’s situation is different. Some ex-spouses remain amicable, whereas others desire to never speak to each other again. Regardless of the existing relationship between you and your spouse, your children have the right to love both of their parents!
If they desire to speak to their other parent, let them know that that will not have a negative impact on their relationship with you and that you just want them to be happy. Even if you have full custody of your children, let them make their own opinions about their other parent.
Fight Your Own Battles
Additionally, you may have days when you don’t want to deal with your ex. However, this doesn’t give you an excuse to use your kids as messengers or spies.
If you have something to say to your ex, then tell him or her yourself. If you would like to know something, then ask him or her yourself. Using your children as middlemen may cause unnecessary confusion or frustration. The advice to “place yourself in another’s shoes” may sound cliché or generic, but keep that in mind when it comes to your kids.
If It Can Stay the Same, Let It
Another thing you can do is to keep as many things as possible normal. If you’ve gone to the movies the first Saturday of every month for years, then don’t stop now! Let your children know that their life is not completely different than what it was before. As they transition into a life with two separated families, give them things that are stable, and help them know that not everything has changed.
Listen and Learn
Every child will be affected differently by a divorce. Anger, sadness, apathy and even happiness are all perfectly normal emotions for children to feel as they reflect on their parents’ separation. Your children will not all be feeling the same things as each other or as you.
Let each individual know that they can trust and confide in you. Validate their feelings and let them know that even if you feel differently, they are still loved and wanted. If they are sad, then let them feel sad for a while. Everyone will heal or move on at their own pace.
Let Kids Be Kids
Finally, it is important to not burden your child with adult problems. Children do not yet have the emotional maturity to deal with complex issues. If your divorce brings on anything from unexpected financial problems to painful emotional concerns, it’s not your children’s job to fix it.
Find another trusted adult, such as a close friend, relative or a professional counselor, and talk to them or let them help you. Let your kids continue to be kids for a little while longer.
In conclusion, remember that everyone processes new experiences differently. You will never be able to be the perfect parent, simply because one does not exist. You will try your best to help your children through your divorce, and things will still not go as planned. So show them that you love them, and surround yourself with people you can count on.
Every step in this process is important, from finding a good family practice lawyer, like Cofield Law Firm, to talking with your kids about a great day they spent with your ex. Many steps will be painful, but your kids need you and you can get through this time together!