Parents who are going through a divorce should ensure they prioritize developing a workable parenting plan so the children’s best interests are being met during and after the divorce. This should ideally happen as soon as practicable after a separation, so the children have the stability they need from each of their parents. Children look to their parents to be their calm in the storm, and it is important that even during this emotional time, you are insulating your children from discord as much as possible.
There are several ways that parents can make the situation a bit easier for their children. Remembering these tips may help.
#1: Make transitions easy
Transition days are often hard for the children because they may worry that their parents will argue, or (sometimes worse) be icy and silent with one another. They may also worry about having to pack bags to go back and forth. Try to make sure that these days are as calm as possible so they see they don’t have to worry.
It’s possible to ease the stress of packing by having things for them at both homes. Don’t worry about which parent bought which items. Let the children bring them back and forth so they always have what they want and need. It may help them tremendously if they don’t have to pack things like underclothes and toiletries. Some parents who are higher-conflict also orient transitions around the conclusion and start of the children’s school days to minimize the parents’ interaction with one another.
#2: Communicate with your ex
Never try to pass messages through the children because it can really stress them out. There’s also a good chance that messages won’t be relayed properly. Instead, you and your ex should communicate directly. This helps to ensure both adults know exactly what’s going on without any issues. If you have contentious issues to discuss, do it away from the children. You and your ex should remain calm with each other when the kids are around. If that simply is not possible for some reason, then limit your discussion of important issues to writing, to eliminate emotion and heightened back-and-forth comments.
#3: Keep things consistent
One of the best things you can do now is to keep everything as consistent as possible for your children. This includes their schedules and activities. You and your ex might have to work together to make sure this happens, especially with transportation and financing, but enough is already changing for your children that you really should not change other things, such as their education arrangements or favorite extracurricular activities, on top of them transitioning into two homes.
Any parent going through a divorce should ensure they put the children first. This can be challenging sometimes, but having a solid parenting plan in place and committing to that plan can make things manageable. Working with someone who’s familiar with these matters and your situation will also be beneficial. We are here to help.