Divorce is difficult for kids and can have lasting implications. Children of divorced parents are twice as likely to get divorced themselves. They are more likely to abuse drugs and less likely to do well academically. But there is a lot you can do to ensure that your kids don’t pay the price for your divorce. Here are several ways that you can make divorce a lot less traumatic for your kids.
- Encourage a strong relationship between your ex and the kids. Your children need to have a positive relationship with both parents, and the more you and your ex support each other and maintain a good relationship with your children, the easier it will be on your kids. This is admittedly hard to do, but it will pay off in the long run. If you and your ex can treat each other well, your good relationship will make family events much happier for everyone concerned.
- Give your kids as much stability and continuity as possible. Keep changes to a minimum. The more the kids can keep to the same routine, the better it will be for them. It’s stressful for kids to visit the noncustodial parent overnight, and you and your ex can work out ways of making the transition easier. Taking favorite toys or the family dog to the other parent’s new house might help.
- Don’t fall apart. It’s not going to help your kids at all to have a depressed parent. It may be really hard not to spend every evening crying, but it’s just not great for your kids. Your kids need to think that they can rely on you, and having a parent fall apart instead of being supportive is scary for them. Your kids can actually cheer you up if you let them—try taking them bowling or to a movie if things are getting unbearably sad.
- Make it clear to your kids and it’s not their fault. Kids have an amazing ability to blame themselves for everything, a tendency that can make a divorce much harder on them.
- Let your kids know that they are still important to you. Smaller kids especially may fear that they’re going to lose their relationship with their parents. They need to know they’re still valued by both their parents.
The good news is that the kind of positive outlook that will help you move on is exactly the kind of positive outlook that will benefit your kids too. If you have questions about divorce or other family law matters, New Beginnings Family Law can help. Contact us today to learn more!