It is hard enough to go through a divorce. You are going to feel many emotions, including conflicting ones. One moment you could feel relieved and the next moment you are going to struggle to stop the tears from flowing. You will go from feeling guilty to angry (and every emotion in between).
As hard as it is for us, it is even harder for our children. They are losing their way of life. They are no longer going to have both of their parents in their lives every day. Not only that, but there is a good chance that you will have to move out of the only home that they ever knew. They will also have a second home. It can take time for both of these places to feel like a home to them.
As parents, we want to do everything that we can to protect our children. This shouldn’t change with the divorce. Here are some ways to protect your children as you go through this difficult time, as well as the first few months (or even years).
Don’t ever talk to your children about their other parent, especially if you are criticizing them. Your children love both of you and they don’t need to hear you bashing their mother and father. This can be very hurtful, especially if the other parent is asking about what was said about them.
Don’t put your children in the middle. Your children shouldn’t feel like they are in the middle of the divorce. Not only shouldn’t you fight around them, you shouldn’t use them to get messages back and forth. If you are unable to communicate with your ex, keep all contact with them through email and even text messages.
Know that your children are going to need you, through this time. Your children are also going to be going through a lot of emotions. They may need to be cuddled more. They may also need some space, but not too much. Some will need to talk (and talk). It is your job to give your children what they need as they process the divorce!
You also need to give your children time with your ex. Make visitation a priority to ensure that both of your children’s parents are in their lives. Come up with a schedule that works for all of you and stick to it. However, if something comes up and your ex wants the children, be flexible. You never know when you might want some extra time with them to go to a birthday party!
If visitation isn’t possible (or even if it is), allow your children to call their other parent when they are with you. Phone calls are a great way to keep in touch especially when the other parent isn’t always able to spend time with your children.
While you are struggling through this difficult time, you are still a parent. You are going to have to take care of your children. They need you.
It is important that you make it a point to keep your children out of the middle of the fighting. If you have to, only talk through text messages or emails until you learn a better way to communicate.
You also can’t keep your children away from their other parent. They deserve to have both of their parents in their lives so you need to come up with a visitation plan that works for everyone and then stick to it! It also helps to be flexible. There are going to be times when you are going to want the children for a special event when you don’t have them and your ex will too. The more flexible you are, the better off your children will be!
Contact us for all of your legal needs. We will help you get through this difficult time.