OPEN COMMUNICATION KEY TO FAMILY SUCCESS AFTER DIVORCE
If you took note of your children’s reactions when they learned of your impending divorce, you may have noticed that each child handled it a bit differently from the other. Perhaps you have a child who tends to become more introverted when he or she feels sad or disappointed. Another child might be the exact opposite, perhaps even becoming belligerent at times or rebellious.
Every family is unique, and the way you and your kids adapt to a new lifestyle after divorce may be similar to some other California families but quite different from others. Remember that there isn’t one set way to do things in such circumstances. In fact, you may choose a particular course of action and then later determine it’s not working well. In that case, you have the freedom and ability to come up with a plan B.
Helpful tips that may apply to your situation
There are several key factors that you may want to keep in mind as you come to terms with divorce and build new memories with your kids. The thing about post-divorce living is that you never know when a problem will arise if you and your ex disagree about child-related topics, in which case, it’s always good to know where to seek support. The following ideas may help you and your kids rebound with as little stress as possible:
- Acknowledge everyone’s feelings: Both you and your kids will have good days and bad days. Let everyone know it’s okay to feel sad, angry and worried, but it’s also okay to feel happy.
- Talk about feelings: It may not be enough to tell your kids that everyone deserves to have their own unique feelings. They may benefit far more from personal conversations where you verbally express your love and let them know you’re there to support them.
- Provide constructive suggestions: Telling your kids you can relate to the blues they are feeling is a good idea. However, an even better one would be to give them ideas about how to handle their emotions, such as letting them know that you like to go for long walks when you’re sad.
- Don’t burden children with adult problems: If you need to vent or want to talk about some of the more intimate details of your divorce, it’s in your children’s best interests for you to do so with another adult. If you share too much with your kids, it can cause them a lot of stress and may confuse them as to where their loyalties should lie.
- Stay positive when talking about your ex: Even if you can barely be in the same room with your former spouse without wanting to scream, your kids don’t need to know that. If you mention their other parent, keep your comments positive or stay silent.
If your spouse is making it next to impossible to live out a peaceful co-parenting arrangement, you need to determine if you’re merely having a personality clash or if the problems at-hand require legal attention in order to resolve. For instance, your ex letting your kids stay up later than you prefer is not really an issue that prompts court intervention; on the other hand, not returning your kids to you at an agreed-upon time and place is definitely a problem a judge can help rectify.