Staying connected with your children after a divorce can be challenging. If you are recently divorced or separated, it’s vital to remain involved with your children and keep looking to the future. You may feel like your world has come crashing down, but when children are involved, it is essential to focus on them as their world has also been turned upside down. Staying actively involved with your children is crucial for their well-being.
Supporting Your Children During and After Divorce
Helping your children cope with the sadness and confusion of divorce is vital. Children may experience anxiety after witnessing their parents separate. They may fear abandonment or worry about new living situations. Due to different schedules and activities, they may also feel they have limited time with their mom or dad. Following these tips can help parents maintain positive relationships and stay connected with their children during and after a divorce.
1. Stay Involved and Mindful
Divorce is a highly stressful event, and it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. However, taking breaks from the situation will allow you to take a step back and see things more objectively. Being involved with your children’s lives and mindful of their feelings will help you be a better parent and can help you handle the divorce more constructively. When you are calm and able to think clearly, you will better understand and empathize with your children, so make time to unwind and relax.
2. Be Supportive
Your children need to know that although their parents won’t be living together, there are places where both will be present. Let your children know there are certain places where you will be with them simultaneously, such as school functions, sporting events, and church activities. Children need both parents to be involved and supportive in their lives. Divorce is less stressful when children see their parents can still come together and cheer them on.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Children Because You’re Busy
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and neglect the people who matter most – your children. You can avoid this by setting schedules and prioritizing time with your children. Make sure to put your kids first when it comes to activities. Continue after-school activities, family dinners, and movie nights without your ex-spouse. Remember, your children may feel like they have lost one parent, but they still need love and reassurance from you. They may be experiencing a wide range of emotions and need a healthy outlet for those feelings.
4. Find Activities That Make Them Happy
Kids thrive when they have something to look forward to doing. Finding or creating activities that your children succeed in can help them find their place in the world, even after a divorce. Activities can include sports, clubs, or joining a youth group. Enrolling your kids in sports or extracurricular activities can also help them to build friendships and strengthen their self-confidence. And by joining a club or youth group, they may find a passion they never knew they had. They can also gain valuable skills and knowledge to help them throughout their lives.
5. Include Your Children in Important Decisions
Separations can happen almost instantly, but it can take years to finalize a divorce. You may make significant life decisions for your children during this time, such as where they will live, attend school, or their extracurricular activities. Ask them what they are interested in and what they would like to achieve. Being able to help with decision-making will make them feel empowered and important. Decision-making will also help them to feel like they still have a voice in the situation. Making decisions together is also an excellent opportunity to get to know your children better, learn more about their interests, and build a stronger relationship with them.
6. Have a Consistent Parenting Plan
Work with your spouse to develop a consistent parenting plan. Try to keep the rules and routines at each parent’s home as consistent as possible. Rules around homework, bedtimes, curfews, and screen time are just a few things to consider. If your children have different rules and routines at each home, it can be confusing and stressful. As co-parents, you need to work together to set rules and routines that are in place for your child’s welfare, even when living in separate homes. Learning to communicate with your ex-spouse regularly about decisions around your children’s needs is essential.
Making Separation and Divorce Easier for Children
During a time of change and uncertainty, like a separation or divorce, it can be challenging to remain positive and focused on the future. There are many ways to help children cope with the stress of divorce. Staying connected with your children during and after divorce is possible, but it takes some work. Stay involved with your children, be mindful of their feelings, and don’t neglect them because you’re busy. Help your children find activities that make them happy and include them in important decisions whenever possible. If you need more information or support, Kids in the Middle is a St. Louis-based organization that helps children and their families navigate divorce.
An Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help
The attorneys at Lecour Family Law can help you navigate complex and stressful family legal issues, including divorce, child custody, and child support. Call us today at 636-685-0440 to schedule a consultation. We pride ourselves on offering family legal services tailored to your specific needs.
Lecour Family Law is located at 1270 Jungermann Road in St. Peters, Missouri. We serve clients throughout St. Charles, O’Fallon, Troy, Warrenton, and St. Louis.