Divorce is difficult for families. Children especially are affected negatively and are often left confused by what is going on. Here is some advice to help ease the separation.
One of the most important things to do during a separation is be civil. No matter how angry you may be with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, showing that anger in front of your child will only have an adverse effect. It is also a good idea to be careful how you talk about your ex to your child. Refrain from negative remarks and cutting comments. It may be tempting to try and get your kid on your side, but that is unfair and too large of a burden for a child.
One of the first things children notice when parents go through a split is a change to their routine. Maybe dad used to make breakfast every morning and instead mom is pouring a bowl of cereal. Or mom usually picks them up from school but now they have to take the bus. Other changes may come from a shift in financial standing. If one parent who was the main support for the family’s finances leaves and is no longer providing the same money as before, there may be changes like less going out for dinner or fewer toys on their birthday. It can make you feel awful to deny your child something that is no longer within your budget. The best thing you can do is find less expensive alternatives whenever possible but remember the most valuable thing you can give them is your time.
It goes almost without saying that there will be a change in the amount of time one or both parents will spend with their child during and after a divorce. For the parent who does not have custody, it is imperative that they have as much visitation with the child as possible and focus on quality time. This doesn’t mean that you spend a fortune every weekend they come over. Just adjust your schedule so that you don’t have anything interfere with the time you do have together.
Don’t hide the divorce from your child or lie to them. Be as honest as possible even when you aren’t entirely sure what is going on yourself. Let them know that mommy and daddy are taking are taking a break right now. If they ask you questions you don’t know the answer to it’s okay to say that you don’t know. Assure them that both of you and your spouse love them very much and nothing will change that.
Try your best to come to agreements with your ex when it comes to parenting your child. Talk about expectations including disciple and activities that your child is able to engage in. For example, if one parent says it’s okay to watch scary movies and the other says absolutely not, try to come to a compromise that works for the child.
During this time it can be beneficial to seek outside help. Kids can become afraid to discuss their concerns with their parents or think that what is happening is their fault. Consider a child psychiatrist to help talk to your child if you feel they may be suffering. They can also provide other great advice on how to protect your child while you and your ex work things out.