The breakdown of your marriage is never an easy situation to deal with, even if you still cooperate with your soon-to-be ex. On top of that, you likely stress about how to break the news to your children and help them cope through this new reality.
Divorce is a whole new arena for everyone, but you can make a few parenting adjustments to help keep everyone comfortable.
1. Make room for ‘family time’ in your schedule
You need to assess if your relationship with the other parent still feels amicable or at least civil. If so, try to schedule some family time. Get-togethers like a movie night or a nice dinner might let your children understand that there is still a sense of family and that they have parents who love them.
2. Legitimize their emotions
Encourage your children to let all of their feelings out, no matter if they are negative or positive. Let them know that their feelings are valid. Allow your children to speak fully before offering solutions.
3. Stay civil with your ex
Try to remain civil with the other parent as much as possible. The children will pick up on how you act towards their other parent and may mimic negative behaviors. If you refuse to partake in petty arguments with your ex, he or she will likely bore quickly and stop.
4. Avoid spoiling your children
Avoid trying to buy your children’s affection. The competition to become the favorite parent often backfires as it can affect your children’s mental health. Instead of lavish gifts, aim for lasting memories by planning quality time.
5. Maintain a support system
Make sure you have some close friends or family members to share your feelings with instead of always confiding in your children. Your children should also establish their own support systems and find connections at school, church or community organizations.
Above all else, you are a parent who needs to still care for your children and adjusting your parenting style to the new normal may help your children.