Parents who decide to divorce must consider how things will work with the children. Coming up with a plan for this as quickly as possible benefits everyone involved.
This is a big change for the children, so it will take time for them to adjust to the new way of life. Consider these tips to help them with the adjustment:
#1: Tell them the news together
You and your ex should sit down with the kids and tell them about the divorce together. This gives everyone a chance to hear the information that’s given. It also enables the children to ask questions to both parents.
#2: Commit to doing what’s best for the children
The children’s best interests have to be at the heart of the matter. Every decision you make should be focused on them. You can’t do things just because they will make your life easier or your ex’s life more difficult.
#3: Never disparage your ex
Your ex is still your child’s other parent. Don’t deprecate them because that impacts the children. Try to focus on how your ex interacts with the children instead of how they behaved as a spouse. That might make this easier.
#4: Increase their support system
Children need a good support system so they know they have people they can count on. Let trusted adults, such as teachers and coaches, know about your divorce.
#5: Create new traditions
Creating new traditions enables the children to have something to look forward to. These can be simple things like a monthly movie night at home or spending a few hours at the park.
#6: Encourage relationships
Some children worry about how their relationships with family members might change because they’re concerned each parent will look down on their other parent’s family. Encourage them to build those relationships, even with your ex’s side of the family.
#7: Set the standards right away
Set the household rules right away so the children can adjust. If possible, try to keep some rules, such as bedtime, consistent to make the adjustment easier.
The parenting plan is the roadmap to co-parenting. Depending on the situation, you may have to try to find creative solutions to the challenges you’re facing. Working with someone who can help you to do this is important.