Children enjoy stability and thrive in it. When they find out that their parents are getting a divorce, their lives are often sent into a tailspin. They need to be able to find their footing as soon as possible.
As a divorcing parent, you must think about what your child needs. These needs can vary from one child to another, but there are common points that you should consider. Thinking about why the divorce is so hard on your children is a good starting point for you to come up with ways to help them.
Divorce is contentious
Parents are pitted against each other in a legal battle. This alone is enough to make children want to run and hide during the divorce. There likely isn’t a way that you can protect them from the arguments and heated discussions, but you should try to shelter them as much as possible. It might help if you and your ex can agree to not say negative things about each other or the situation in front of the children.
When a child’s schedule changes, you might have some resistance to these differences. Think about how hard it is to transition from summer to the school year. Now, you can see what it might be like to have a complete upheaval in the child’s life.
You can combat this by trying to make things as consistent as possible. Even though there will be some matters that you can’t change, such as having to adjust to a new home, there are others, such as bedtime, that can stay the same during the transition. It might help if you and your ex work together to come up with rules that apply at both homes.
Learning new family dynamics
The year of firsts will be challenging and sometimes awkward. Your child might not realize that holidays like Christmas and birthdays are still going to continue. The kids might be nervous about how these days are going to be handled. If you and your ex can come up with plans now for special days, you can prepare the children for more successful transitions.
This can enable them to understand how life will change, and how it will remain the same, after the divorce. It might help if you put everything on a calendar for the year and give your child a chance to ask questions about the new family dynamics.