What Your Kids Need Most From You During & After Divorce
For anyone who has gone through it or had friends or family go through it, you know that divorce is rarely an “easy” process, especially if it is contentious and children are involved. Some children can go through a variety of worries as a result; worries that include potential guilt, fear of abandonment, fear of change, worries that they might hurt one parent if they spend more time with the other one, etc. Some also act out and develop behavioral issues as a result.
Given that divorce is inevitable in some circumstances – and sometimes, it is also simply healthier to go your separate ways rather than expose your children to a toxic relationship – note that there are steps you can take to ameliorate the effects of divorce on your children, keeping in mind what they need most from you, as we discuss below.
The phrase “be the adult” is arguably both obvious and confusing at the same time. Obviously, you are the adult, so what exactly does this mean? It means that, while your children acting out can be expected during this time, it is also important that your children know that certain types of behaviors are still unacceptable, and if the “heat of the moment” isn’t the best time to address these behaviors, you will circle back to it the next day, noting that, you understand that your child is going through a lot, but it is still not OK to do x, y, and z. In other words, according to the experts, what your child needs is a decisive leader who is also supportive and understanding, and who will provide them with a stable environment, even when things get stressful.
Routine & Flexibility, In the Right Proportions
Also keep in mind that stability and routine are important to kids, especially during a divorce. Therefore, try to do your best to make as few changes as possible during this time—i.e., keep things “normal” where you can. For example, even if they are switching school districts, make an effort to make sure they stay connected to their old friends.
This also extends to timesharing: while you and your ex may want to split things 50/50—on the dot—try to be flexible and “go with the flow,” letting your kid stay an extra night here and there if it’s more convenient for them or their schedule, etc.
Keep Things Civil
And while this is likely the most obvious lesson of all, it still needs to be said: Do not place your kids in the middle of your fights with your ex. In addition, not only should you not try to extract information about your ex while you have the kids, but make sure that, if they want to discuss these things, they do so at their own volition.
Contact Our Florida Divorce & Family Law Lawyers
Contact our Tampa divorce attorneys at HD Law Partners today to find out how we can help guide you through all of the important steps of the divorce process so that you and your family are protected.