Learn five easy tips to help lessen the impact of divorce on children.
If you’re like me, one of the gnawing questions you ask is how to lessen the impact of divorce on children as you navigate the process and start this new life. We imagine all the ways in which our decisions will ruin our children’s lives and question if we are doing the right thing.
Well, I am here to tell you that divorce does not need to ruin your children’s lives and the impact can be minimized. Here are 5 things you can do to help your children with your divorce:
1) Decide your children’s well being is your top priority OVER YOUR EGO. I have seen divorced couples put their hurt feelings ahead of their children’s feelings and the resulting decisions were not in the interest of the children. Make the decision that your words/actions will have the children’s best interest at heart, and you will make good decisions.
2) Don’t badmouth your ex to your kids. Did you ex lie/steal/cheat etc? Not your kids problem or burden to bear. All that happened between the two of you are adult issues.
3) Be consistent with your children and your time. I know this is really hard if your ex flakes on their time with the kids, and you cannot control that. What you an control is the time you do have with your children. So be consistent. Be there for them. Show up for them. Keep routines for them.
4) Don’t let the divorced living situation cause a burden for your children unnecessarily. It is hard enough for your kids to have to go between 2 homes, don’t let the fact that they need to do this be further burdened by the fact that you refuse to let your child bring their favorite toy to dad’s because you were the one that bought it. I read once from an older child of divorced parents that one important thing was just having enough socks and underwear at each home. Sometimes it’s the little things like that which make a difference in your child’s ability to feel comfortable and provided for. If there’s a pair of shoes or a shirt one of my kids wants for school and it’s at the other house, we make sure that they have it. Not the child’s problem that half of their stuff is someplace else.
5) Be supportive of your child’s relationship with your ex’s significant other. This may be a hard one for some of you to swallow, but as long as the person is safe for your children to be around, you should not make your children feel bad about being with that person or having a nice relationship with that person. Having more loving adults around that care for your children is a good thing.
When I was going through my divorce, I remember my ex saying to me “The kids are going to be fine.” And I am here to say the same to you. If you do your part to help them, they are going to be fine. Just keep these tips handy – share them with your ex, too – and work together to lessen the impact of your divorce on your children.