After going through a divorce, you may feel like your whole life has been turned upside down. While there is no doubt that this can be difficult, it is often even harder on your kids, who have no control over the situation at all. In the weeks and months following a divorce, it is important to do everything you can to support them emotionally so they can adjust to the new way of life.
Make Sure Your Child Knows They are Loved
Sure, this piece of advice makes it at the top of every list and even seems extremely obvious to most parents. The fact is, however, that it bears repeating as often as possible. Now more than ever the kids need to know that they are loved by both parents. In addition to going out of your way to show them that they are loved, do what you can to ensure they know your ex loves them too. This may be difficult, but it will help them through this challenging time.
Help Your Child to Feel at Home with Both Parents
One of the most difficult things for children after a divorce is getting used to the fact that they will be living in two different homes. This is a huge adjustment with the constant moving back and forth between homes. To the extent possible, make sure your child feels at home in both places, with all the things that they need. They shouldn’t have to pack a suitcase or a bag to take back and forth because they don’t have everything they need.
Express Interest When Your Child Returns From Your Ex
After your child has been with your ex, make sure you express interest and listen to your child. Many parents think that they should avoid asking questions because it may seem like they are prying into the life of the ex. The fact is, your child will likely want to share things and they shouldn’t feel like they need to keep the fun things they did with their other parent a secret. Encouraging your child to share everything with you (and your ex) is an important step in helping them to adjust to this new “two-home” way of life.
Embrace the Awkward
For many years to come, you and your ex will have to attend school events, sports, parties, and many other things together for the sake of your child. It will often be awkward and uncomfortable. As parents, it is your job to just deal with it and move on. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean your child doesn’t want both parents to be there for them.
Allow Children to be Upset or Disappointed
No matter how well you handle the divorce and try to put your children first, they are going to be hurt and sad during this time, especially when things don’t go their way. This is a normal and healthy reaction. Rather than trying to silence their feelings, let them express them and explain that you understand that it isn’t good or fair that they have to go through this. Do everything you can to make their feelings validated, even if you can’t solve the problems that are causing them.
The first weeks and months after a divorce are very difficult on a child, and it is important to do everything you can to support them emotionally through this process. No matter how long it takes, make sure to keep working with your children to help minimize the pain that is caused by the divorce. Attorney Paul McConnell knows and understands Connecticut divorces. If you have any family law matter that needs to be settled or handled, give our office a call today. We are here for you.