For divorcing parents, the children are perhaps the most important consideration. In addition to figuring out a parenting plan that works for both parties, as well as dividing assets, handling child support and spousal support issues, parents need to consider how to take care of their children.
This is no easy task. It is difficult enough to raise children even when both partners are in a healthy, happy and committed relationship. When the two parents split up and live in different households, the challenges are multiplied. After a divorce it is more important than ever to focus on the role of parenting.
Divorce Affects Children
Although it is hard for parents to admit this when divorcing, children suffer negative impacts as a result of divorce. According to Psychology Today:
“Divorce introduces a massive change into the life of a boy or girl no matter what the age. Witnessing loss of love between parents, having parents break their marriage commitment, adjusting to going back and forth between two different households, and the daily absence of one parent while living with the other, all create a challenging new family circumstance in which to live.”
You Can Raise a Healthy, Happy Child
Although the changes are difficult for a child, you can help:
- Be there for your child: Although it will be difficult for you going through a divorce, you need to be present to your child, understand the challenges he or she is facing and give your child the time needed to heal.
- Create a good parenting plan: Before the divorce is finalized, you should work hard to create a parenting plan that works for both parents and fosters strong relationships between the child and both parents.
- Work with your ex: Although you are divorced, you child will still benefit from a solid relationship with both parents. Assuming your ex spouse isn’t abusive or dealing with substance abuse issues, the relationship will benefit your child and working together provides a more solid foundation for growth.
- Do not speak negatively of your ex: Although it might be tempting, it is important to resist the temptation to speak badly of your ex in front of your child. Doing so could put the child between the two of you, which will further complicate the already challenging emotions the child is facing.
- Create consistent schedules: Children thrive on steady schedules. After divorce, they need all the stability possible, so creating regular weekly and daily routines can be a support for them after divorce.
Although it is not an easy task, it is certainly possible to provide a solid foundation for your child, to raise a healthy, happy kids.