No matter what, parenting after your divorce is going to be much different that it was originally. A divorce can be just as hard on the parents as it is on the children, regardless of his or her age. You need to be prepared for the changes and how to handle the situation with your children.
For example, your children are never going to have “their own house” again because instead they’re going to have their “mom’s house” and their “dad’s house.” Have you ever thought about the divorce from that perspective before?
With that in mind, here are some tips to keep in mind to effectively parent your children following your divorce:
Talk About The Divorce As A Family
First and foremost, the news of a divorce is not something that they should learn randomly from either of you. This could make your children feel like secrets were kept from them. Instead, your children should find out about the divorce from both you and your spouse together. It is a good idea to discuss it as a family in order to answer any questions. You and your spouse need to discuss how you want to announce to your children that you are divorcing and how much information you want to share. Doing this beforehand will show your children that you are both on the same page. It is also wise to go over some of the questions that your children may have. This will ensure that you and your spouse are both on the same page when answering their questions.
Keep Your Children Involved
Keeping secrets from your children while you are undergoing a divorce is a bad idea. This especially damaging if your children are old enough to understand things. If your children ask questions, you should answer them and not shut them out. You should also provide them with updates on the divorce as well, and don’t leave them shut out of the process. They should have an idea of what’s happening and what steps you and your spouse are going through. Doing this will make the entire process easier on them.
Make Sure Your Children Have Positive Support
It will be absolutely essential for your children to have positive support from other people when you are going through a divorce. This does not mean support from just you and your spouse. It is good for them to also have support from grandparents, teachers, counselors, or school/sports coaches.
Don’t Blame Them
Either directly blaming your children or implying that you are blaming them will be one of the worst things that you can do. Your children may end up living the rest of their lives believing what you told them. This can put them in a dark place where they are consistently blaming themselves.
Make sure that you make it clear to them that they are not responsible in anyway for the divorce occurring.
Allow Your Children To Make Decisions
There are many areas of your divorce where your children will be able to make decisions. For example, would they rather stay at your house or the house of your spouse? Maybe you know that they are likely going to have to spend more time at one house over the other, but listen to what they have to say. Your children will want to feel like they have a say in what happens and this will help them cope with the situation a little better.
Overall, your children will always be your children. Make sure that no matter what, they know that they are loved and cared for.