Lately, our world has seen a rise in the number of divorce cases. According to the National Survey of Family Growth conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22% of the first marriages amongst the age group 15-44 get called off within 5 years and 36% of them get disrupted within 10 years in the United States. Now, if we consider the numbers, 36% of households put their children through the trauma of separation every year.
Divorce brings drastic changes along with it, but when it involves kids, the picture becomes a lot more complicated. You need to gather divorce parenting tips by consulting therapists, lawyers, friends, family and consult online resources.
Here are some essential tips to start your post-divorce parenting journey with:
Settling for the custody type
The most important step is setting the tone of post-divorce life. There are three major types of custodial contracts offered:
a. One-parent custody
b. Joint custody- Sharing legal and physical matters
c. Joint custody- One of the parents has Tie-breaking authority in health and educational matters.
A Stuart Fl divorce attorney stumbled upon a case where a father took the daughter away forcibly, without informing the mother. To avoid running into such scenarios, have a healthy discussion with your ex-partner and settle with the ideal type of custody.
Breaking the news
Effective communication makes divorces a little less traumatic for everyone. It is a pivotal divorce parenting tip. After you finalize your decision about a divorce, it is necessary that you communicate this to your kids and also address their concerns.
When you sit down to have this discussion with your kids, keep some fundamental aspects in mind:
a. Keep the conflicts out of the room. Don't argue in front of them.
b. Answer every question they have!
c. Try to make them feel safe and secure.
d. Customize your ways as best suited to your child's age and psychology and use softer tones.
Give them the home in your house
Regardless of the type of custody and living situation, make sure you don't snatch the home away from your children. Wherever they choose to live, provide them with an emotionally comfortable environment with minimal conflicts.
Spend time with them, take them out for dinners and involve them in other such family-oriented activities. At the same time, don't ease out all the restrictions because that may lead to a lack of discipline in your kid.
Co-parenting is a must
After a separation, it becomes very uncomfortable if you have to meet and collaborate with your ex-partner, especially if the divorce was bitter. But, for the sake of your kids, do not let that discomfort get in the way of your child's mental health. You must find your way around the conflict and agree upon co-parenting. Make plans with your kids, which involve both the parents like a family picnic, vacations, and dinners. Doing this will make sure that your kids don't miss out on the joy of having a family.
Routines evoke security
Before separation, if your family had some routines like Sunday morning hikes or brunches, then make sure that you stick to those even after the divorce. These routines evoke a sense of security in the kids and don't let them perceive the separation as something tragic. If you don't follow the routine, then your child may start missing 'the old days' which will affect their emotional well-being. Also, you must come with some new routines. Doing that will fill your child's life with a sense of freshness and help them like the post-divorce life.
Your health is the game-changer
Divorce can be quite detrimental to your mental health because of the stress it brings along. And the added pressures of post-divorce parenting doesn't make the situation any simpler. It is essential to take note that you profoundly influence your child's emotional well -being, so make sure that both the parents see therapists and vent their hearts out. You can also talk to your friends. You must avoid discussing your trauma with your kids and spare them the harm that may follow.
These were some of the primary divorce parenting tips, based on observation and findings drawn from various case studies. Quoting the article Children's reactions to parental separation and divorce published at the official website of NCBI, US, "Children of all ages are sensitive to parental divorce; their reactions are expressed in ways consistent with their developmental stage". It is necessary to understand your child's emotional defense mechanism and find a customized and innovative way through it!
Although it is indeed a mammoth task and may seem impossible to achieve, you can still raise emotionally healthy children out of a broken marriage. All it would take is a little extra effort. All the best!