[W]hen parents divorce, children suffer. While they must go through their own uncertainties about their future, how the parents handle the post-marriage, pre-divorce window goes a long way in determining how the family unit will function.
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What can you do to keep your children’s well-being a priority? Answering those questions, like most divorce conflicts, proves difficult. However, you and your Ex can maintain some valuable stabilizing your children by adhering to the following guidelines, which will help the family unit function more efficiently for years to come.
Tips to Stabilizing Your Children
1. Don’t put your child in the middle. Talking to your Ex is tough. When your child travels between you and your spouse for shared custody or visitation, it’s tempting to send messages via your child instead of talking directly to the other parent. However, that imposes unnecessary stress on your child, and greatly increases the chances that the information might be miscommunicated, increasing tension between the two sides. Either call or better yet, leaving a detailed e-mail is even better. (For emergencies, consider a text.)
2. Limit the disruption in your child’s life. Even under the best of circumstances, watching parents split up is devastating for a child. You can help reduce this stress by ensuring your child’s life stays as “normal” for them as possible. For example, keep your child in the same school and the same extracurricular activities, and make sure your child has time to spend with friends. These support systems will help your child feel more secure.
3. Apologize if needed. Chances are, you already regret at least some of what you’ve said in front of your kids, or maybe you mishandled an uncomfortable situation. Offering your child a sincere apology, and listening to their response goes a long way toward healing any damage that has been done and rebuilding your bond of trust with your child.
These are in no way all, or even a majority of the problems you will encounter while dealing with a divorce. But they are some of the most common situations you will face, and if you handle these appropriately, you have headed off many problems that unnecessarily torpedo families.
What suggestions would you give to help your children during a divorce?
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