Not only does divorce take the wind out of the spouses’ sails, it can threaten the well-being of the children as well. Learning that your parents are divorcing can rock a child’s world — and not in a good way.
Even when the kids are tired of listening to mom and dad bicker and fight, hearing that their parents are actually divorcing can still be a major blow. While it might be inevitable that the kids will be upset, moms and dads can take certain steps to make the landing a little softer.
Perhaps the most important thing for parents to do is be aware of their children’s needs during and immediately after a divorce. Below are some parenting guidelines to help you focus on the kids’ needs at such a critical time.
Maintain consistency and routines
In both big things like having the kids sleep in the same bedrooms to small, like them continuing to drink juice from the same cup at breakfast, change as few things as possible in the wake of a divorce.
Ensure that they realize they are loved
Kids can internalize their emotions and believe that they or their actions were the cause of the split. Reassure them — more than once if necessary — that this is not the case and that both mom and dad will continue to love them and remain in their lives.
Continue to share experiences together
Divorce irrevocably alters the fabric of your nuclear family but doesn’t preclude you and the kids continuing to share meaningful time together. Even when separated by distance, technology allows you to remain tethered to your children. Yes, sometimes, you may need to get a little creative, e.g., reading bedtime stories over Skype or both watching the game and then comparing notes. But don’t let anything intrude upon the strong bond you share with your child.
If your ex attempts to hinder those ties, address the matter with your Atlanta attorney. It may be time to revisit the custody agreement that you have in place.