Parenting Through Your Divorce:
6 Tips To Help You Focus On Your New Family Dynamics
Divorcing or separating from your romantic partner can be an incredibly emotional experience for anyone, but it can be even harder when there are children involved.
If you have children with your former partner, then you will need to stay connected to them and work with them to create a new family dynamic that works for everyone.
This can take time and be a challenge, particularly if you’ve never experienced a divorce before or have very young children.
Still, it’s crucial that you work hard to ensure that your kids get the best support, love and care possible. While the separation might be happening to you and your partner, it also affects your children and can have a significant effect on them for the rest of their lives.
Many studies have been done on the psychological effects of divorce on children, and while many cannot be helped, many others can if you take the right approach.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can support your kids through your divorce and help them to adjust to your new family dynamics.
1. Communicate With Your Kids
While you might not feel able to talk to anyone after your breakup, you need to make sure that your children are aware of what’s going on and how it will affect their lives. The unknown is always scarier than a threat you’re aware of, so it will be better in the long run if you talk to your kids about what’s going on. How you talk to your kids about your divorce depends on their age, so make sure you use language they’ll understand. Also, you should be prepared for a lot of questions and try to answer them as calmly and honestly as you can. You’ll then be able to alleviate their fears and make it clear that you’re there to support and love them despite what’s happening in your relationship.
2. Try To Keep Things Civil If Possible
When you’re splitting up with your romantic partner, it’s easy to get annoyed by the things they do or to take your frustrations out on them in front of your kids. However, these actions could damage your relationship with your kids, and with their other parent, so you need to try and be aware of your actions and be as civil as you can. If you need to talk to your former partner about a topic on which you both disagree, then try to conduct your argument in private, away from your kids.
3. Use Family Mediation To Avoid Conflict
If your former partner is confrontational, or you’re struggling to make important decisions about your family’s future, then you need to make sure that you keep your arguments away from your kids and resolve them as quickly and calmly as possible. While this can feel impossible, one approach is to use a professional family mediator. Family mediation experts, like the team at We Mediate, will conduct a MIAM, or Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, to determine your family’s needs and help you to set goals for your mediation sessions. You’ll then be able to start guiding your family on the path to structure after your separation.
4. Be Clear About Your Rules And Boundaries
Once you and your former partner have formally separated and are no longer living together, there are going to be changes and new ways of doing things. These include basic tasks such as taking your children to school, spending one-on-one time with them and accompanying them to activities and parties. From the beginning, you should outline how you intend to handle the transition between your home and your former partner’s and how you will both deal with issues such as new romantic relationships. Set clear boundaries and make sure that your former spouse adheres to them so that you can both get the most out of your new family dynamic.
5. Set A Good Example
Children emulate their parent’s behaviour and moods, so you need to try and set a good example. That means avoiding confrontation, being civil with your former partner and trying to show your kids that you are dealing with the new situation in a mature way. That doesn’t mean that you have to hide your feelings from your children, but rather that you don’t show them too much and that you explain everything in a clear way that they can relate to. Setting a good example will help them to know what a well-adjusted break-up looks like, which will benefit your child both now and in the future.
6. Focus On Supporting Your Kids
Dealing with a relationship breakdown can mean that your focus is elsewhere, but it’s crucial that you show your children that you’re committed to taking care of them and putting their interests first. Children often need more care during times of stress and turmoil, such as a relationship breakdown between their parents. You’ll need to support them and help your child to manage their behaviour during your divorce, so they can continue to enjoy a fulfilling and fun life. Focusing on your children will also help you to take your mind off your personal troubles and settle into a routine, which will give you and your kids some comfort during these tumultuous times.
To Wrap Up
Being a parent is a major responsibility and never easy at the best of times. Parenting through a divorce can feel like a minefield, especially as every child and family is unique, and there’s no definitive set of rules. Thankfully, there are ways you can minimise the disruption that your divorce causes to your children and help them to embrace your family’s new structure. These tips should help you to make informed choices that allow you to do what’s right for yourself and your precious kids. Once you have both moved on, you and your former spouse can start to explore new family dynamics and how you can ensure the ongoing safety and happiness of your children together.
About the Author
Zoe has written and researched articles for a wide variety of career websites, blogs and magazines, has a strong understanding of current business trends and a passion for entrepreneurism.