Divorce can be a seismic shift in your lifestyle and daily routine. The journey that began as a shared idea of future together with a partner comes to a crossroads that sends each traveller down a different path altogether. And if along the way children were brought into the world, the results of the divorce will forever shape how they view relationships as they grow into adulthood. It can be difficult to navigate the tempest of emotions and even harder to maintain a course that keeps the best interests of the family in mind, but there are tactics that can help ease the transition for children and parents alike.
During summer break and holidays in general, in can be a challenge to embrace the spirit of the season in the face of divorce. The first time your children experience a birthday or go trick-or- treating can be awkward or daunting, so it is crucial to be reasonable with your ex. Exercising the patience and mindfulness needed to craft a compromise that allows for children to experience the best times that they can is in the hands of the parents. Although you and your former spouse are no longer living as a married couple, you are still parents that need to work together to deliver the life experiences that every child deserves.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you make your summer and holiday plans a little easier for you and for your children.
Stay Positive. Even very young children can pick up on emotional cues, even subtle ones. Keep this in mind when you catch yourself rolling your eyes or making comments about your ex around your kids. Reinforcing positivity and how you react to adversity or sudden changes of plans can go a long way in helping your children overcome the anxiety that can accompany divorces.
Plan Ahead. Do your level best to work out schedules in advance during the holiday season or over summer break. Logistics can get confusing very quickly after a divorce. Although visitation and custody are ruled on during divorce proceedings, certain times of years can create potential nightmares when it comes to personal plans. Discuss any special plans with your ex in advance and include your kids in the conversation. Many children and young adults appreciate the feeling that they get a say of their own when it comes to when and where they are going.
Be Patient. It is important to let your children have the chance to freely express themselves, especially after a divorce. Visitation schedules can be taxing to children, and the period of adjustment might bring with it some out of the ordinary behaviors. If they need to make a few extra phone calls to your ex while they are with you, let them. It gives your children the peace of mind that you are willing to help them feel comfortable transitioning to a two-family living situation without diminishing their ability to communicate their own feelings and ideas.
You know as an adult how difficult divorce can be, so remember how confused children can get when it comes to this new life situation they find themselves living in. The marital journey you began with your partner may have ended, but the journey you are on as parents will continue.