Divorce will always be the end of something to which your child or children are accustomed, but this transition often brings plenty of positive changes. With a little help from the countless experts devoting their studies to helping everyone involved in this kind of situation, you can showcase the good coming from this change and diminish its more worrisome effects. Following these tips should improve you and your children’s abilities to stay positive through the trying times to come.
Inspire straightforward, positive and open communication
Solid communication between everyone involved is the key to making the best of this situation. Experts agree that the level of hostility between parents is one of the most influential factors for children coping with divorce. Regardless of how things ended with you and your ex, you both need to put work into keeping your relationship strong and honest.
Your child or children must also be given a voice. Encouraging children to talk it out with someone empowers them, which is vital for them when facing such a potentially stressful future. Not listening to them incurs the opposite effect, and any loving parent can see why essentially taking away the child’s voice at this time would be plain awful.
This includes both parents’ ability to avoid “sugarcoating” anything. You cannot make excuses for your ex or the situation, but you also don’t want to blame or insult your ex, either. “Badmouthing” your ex is a lose-lose-lose situation. Your child will think less of one, if not both of their parents, and possibly feel worse about themselves in turn. Both “badmouthing” and “sugarcoating” can put your child or children in situations where they feel like they have to choose a side. This should be avoided at all costs, as the comfort of any children in these moments relies greatly on their ability to feel supported by both sides.
Give everyone involved their opportunity to speak with a psychologist
Sometimes we could all use a professional listener, which is a key component to the psychologist’s duty. The ability to speak with someone outside of the family and uninvolved with the divorce lets kids speak their mind freely. This can be vital to their coping ability and overall comfort with what’s going on, and it also gives them a chance to speak with a professional about any other personal matters that could be troubling them.
If you and your ex are having trouble coping with one another without hostility, you should both reach out for psychological support as well. As mentioned before, the level of hostility between you and your ex plays a huge role in the children’s ability to flourish through this trying time. The ability to talk with an unbiased professional goes hand-in-hand with the previously mentioned strategies of openness and proper communication.
Learn to say “hello” and “goodbye” properly
Sending the kids off for their time with the ex can be very difficult, especially at first, but your strength in these times affects your child’s strength. Leave with a smile when you drop them off, and never let them feel like you’re upset about leaving them with your ex. Make transitions as positive and peaceful as you can, and find a way to leave that works well for you, your ex and your children. Allow your child feel as little tension about these drop-offs and pick-ups as possible.
With some hard work from you and your ex, your two new families can thrive instead of just survive through these tense times.