THERE are a few things in life as difficult as watching your relationship crumble before your eyes. Going through a divorce is an emotionally taxing experience, even if it’s an amicable split. But you and your ex aren’t the only ones impacted by the breakdown of your marriage. This tumultuous time can be equally traumatising and confusing for your kids. In fact, a sour divorce can completely change their outlook on love, relationships and marriage.
As parents, it’s your responsibility to prioritise your children’s wellbeing and help them process this transition. We’re glad to share different ways you and your ex can co-parent your kids. Take a look.
Don’t bad mouth your ex
Even if things didn’t end on a good note, don’t make the mistake of speaking negatively of your ex in front of your kids. The last thing you want to do is unfairly corrupt your child’s relationship with the other parent. Try to remain polite and respectful towards each other for the sake of your children.
Give them your name
Changing your name after marriage is a popular tradition around the world. But do you keep your partner’s name after the break-up? That entirely depends on you. You can consider going back to your maiden name and even think about adding it to your children’s name. Your name deserves to be a part of their identity.
Avoid communicating via kids
Some divorced parents tend to use their kids to communicate with each other. But making your kids middlemen can put unnecessary pressure on them to keep the peace. Regardless of your animosity towards your ex, communicate directly and don’t force your kids to meditate.
Don’t hide the truth
It’s not a good idea to keep your kids in the dark about the reason behind your separation. Depending on their age, we suggest telling them the truth or at least a version of the truth. This will help them understand the situation better.
Make room for grief
For children, their parents’ divorce is a major life change. You cannot expect them to be immediately okay with the situation. They may act out or crawl back into their shell. It’s your responsibility to make room for their grief and help them find healthy coping mechanisms. Be patient and try to understand what your child is going through.
During this turbulent time, it’s crucial to maintain a consistent routine in your child’s life. A set schedule can give them much-needed stability.
Seek professional help
It’s possible that your kids are struggling with the divorce and you’re unable to make things better. That doesn’t mean you’re not a good parent. If your child is showing extreme behaviours, you should seek professional help. Talking to a counsellor can help your child deal with their thoughts and emotions.
Make them feel loved
At the end of the day, children should feel seen and loved. Find ways to show that you and your ex will always care for your children no matter what. From spending quality time with each other to attending their school events, just show up.
Take care of yourself
You won’t be able to look after your kids if you aren’t doing well. Take care of your emotional, mental and physical health. Don’t be ashamed to lean on your support system during this difficult time. There is also no harm in consulting a counsellor to express your feelings and process the divorce.
The harsh truth is that more than 50 per cent of marriages end in divorce. While you cannot salvage a doomed relationship, you can ensure that your kids grow up happy and resilient.
This is a submitted article.