Getting a divorce is quite a stressful experience. When things with your spouse just don’t work well enough like it used to, maybe one of you hadn’t been faithful, or simply you don’t see a future with one another anymore, it can get hard and overwhelming.
Having children only complicates this situation even more, but there are quite a few pieces of advice that can make it a little bit more bearable for both you and your children. Keep in mind that there is no perfect time for divorce when it comes to the age of your kids. It’s not easy, but different ages of kids require different approaches. Here are a few tips every newly divorced parent needs to know.
Don’t put your children in the middle
You cannot completely protect your children from this new experience, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier. First of all, try not to make your kids chose sides. It is not healthy for both your and kids’ relationship, but also their relationship with their other parent. They should never stand between you and your ex, and they should surely not be the messengers.
Try having healthy communication with your ex for the sake of your children. It may be tempting to ask your kids what is going on in the other household or if your ex has a new partner, but it’s for the best if you don’t do that. Children might get the feeling that they should spy on the other parent, and you certainly don’t want that.
The golden rule is to never say anything negative about your ex-spouse in front of your kids, or for that matter, don’t say anything bad about their family members or friends. Regardless of how hurt you are, keep in mind that they are still the parent of your kids. You don’t want your children to think you hate each other and make them feel like they should choose sides. You want them to know that both you and your ex still love them no matter what.
Let’s be honest, kids do need rules and limitations. The best possible plan is for both parents to have the same parenting style, but that is often not the case. We are all different and have different views on bringing up our young ones.
Keep in mind that you cannot control your ex’s ways of handling the children, nor should they control yours. You have to clearly explain to your kids that your rules apply in your household and the other parent’s in theirs. If your ex lets them stay up late, explain that that rule does not apply in your house.
It would be perfect if you could make some agreements with your ex-spouse, like the curfews, pocket money, schoolwork, etc. But if not possible, focus your energy on controlling the things that you can, i.e., the rules in your household.
Understand your child’s behavior
All children are different, and they may react differently. Some may withdraw and need time to process everything; others will misbehave and act out. Keep in mind that divorce is hard on them. If your kid underachieves at school or withdraws, don’t be hard on them and provide them with unconditional love and support.
Assure them that both you and your ex still love them very much. Some kids will try to fill the void of a missing parent and try to act like an adult and take care of you. You must make sure that they understand you can handle the situation and that they should just be kids and try to live their lives as best as possible.
Consequences for acting out
When a child misbehaves, many parents may not disciple them or try not to be too hard on them. You may feel guilty because your kid is hurt, but that does not mean they can cross the line. When a kid is acting out or throwing tantrums, they should know that the consequences are the same as they used to be before the divorce.
Consistency is the key, and there should be limitations and rules. Be sure to talk to your kids when they cool off, and if they bring up the divorce, talk about it calmly and let them express their emotions but in a healthy way. Be prepared to answer any questions because sometimes all the children need is a nice conversation.
As much as you’re trying to be on top of your game and do your best, you will inevitably be down at moments. This is a whole new situation that you need to adapt to, and you should keep reminding yourself that you will power through it.
First of all, you will probably have more time for yourself when the children stay with their other parent. Pick up on old hobbies and things you enjoy doing. It will help you unwind and relieve some stress. Secondly, ask your friends and family for support. Divorce is not a traumatic experience only for kids, but also for the parents. Surround yourself with people who love you and only wish the best for you.
You may also ask for advice from a person who went through the same situation, and there are even numerous professionals who can help you deal with your pain and stress. Keep in mind that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and if you or your young ones need professional help, reach out. and seek support.
To sum up, in this article, we have pointed out some of the things every newly divorced parent should know. As it is to be expected, this is a challenging period in both your and your children’s life. It may seem overwhelming at certain times, but the trick is to take one day at a time.
Naturally, divorce is so much more than simply dealing with the hardship. There are numerous legal things you have to take care of, such as the custody, alimony, etc. If you are looking for a way to facilitate the latter, visit here to learn how this can be done.