When parents divorce, change will be unavoidable for the children. However, if you are going through a divorce and have young kids, there are ways you can maintain a sense of normalcy for your child. Doing so can help them adjust to and navigate changes over which they have no control.
- Spend time with familiar faces in familiar spaces: If possible, letting your kids stay in the home they are used to staying in can be best for them to feel safe and grounded. And whatever your relationships might be with your former in-laws, try to allow your kids to spend time with the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents they are used to seeing.
- Keep parenting approaches consistent: In terms of things like discipline and parenting strategies, keeping them the same as they were before the divorce was underway is crucial. Maintaining the clear, consistent boundaries you already have in place allows your children to feel comfortable and secure.
- Stick to established routines: Another vital part of creating normalcy is predictability. Thus, having routines is essential. Practice the same routines when it comes to bedtime, chores and meals. Understanding what to expect can reduce a child’s fear and anxiety.
- Refrain from talking about the details of your split in front of them: You and your ex may be fighting, but you must do it away from your kids. Exposing them to the contention and conflict you may struggle with only adds to their stress and confusion.
- Don’t badmouth the other parent: Badmouthing your ex can damage a child’s health and well-being more than you realize. Remember that they are still your child’s parent, and being a parent is a very different role than being a partner. So, keep the two positions separate to foster a positive relationship with your child and their parent.
These tips can help your child feel a sense of normalcy and stability during an otherwise tumultuous time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Divorce can be stressful and painful for you, making it difficult to always be the best parent you can be.
Should you find yourself struggling with any aspect of navigating a divorce or parenting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your lawyer, mental health professionals and network of loved ones can provide the support and guidance you need to get through your divorce and focus on the future.