12 Tips to Help Keep Your Focus on the Children Throughout Your Divorce.
As hard as divorce is for each spouse, it is extremely important to help keep your children in focus through the process. We will go over 12 tips to help keep your focus on the children throughout your divorce. Whether the separation is amicable or messy (for lack of a better term), the entire process is traumatic for everyone involved. You are responsible for creating a new way of life for your entire family moving forward. The vulnerability that the children are experiencing may not always be transparent.
All children deep down inside crave stability. Unfortunately, they do not always get to experience life as a Disney storybook. When the dream is shattered, you need to address it with your kids. You need their help as much as they need yours to pick up the pieces, carefully, gently, and intentionally. Brace them for the rocky waters in the coming days, weeks, months… all things considered… the rest of their lives.
12 Tips To Keep Your Focus on the Kids
Here are a dozen things to remember during this difficult process you and your family are all going through:
1. Talk with your children about what is happening and how they’re responding to the divorce. Take the time to communicate openly with their feelings about what is happening.
2. Allow your kids the freedom to express their feelings. Never let them bottle up or hide anything from you. It is a rollercoaster for everyone. Everyone reacts differently to the rise and falls.
3. Although it is tempting, be careful not to speak negatively about the other parent, even if it is coming from what you view as truth. Your children have their own connection on both sides of this and anything you say about either parent can easily be transferred onto the psyche of children.
4. Take the age of your children into consideration, and make sure you explain things in ways they will understand. Not all the answers need to be given. Editing what you share per their age, must be minded through the separation.
5. We are what we observe and kids are sponges. They are still in the process of building their emotional and psychological makeup. Their parents are their source for role models. It is imperative more than ever that your actions match your words at this time.
6. Your time outweighs spoiling your kids with materialistic things that eventually end up on the shelf or in a closet. Experiences are all you and your children have at the root of it all. Time talking with them holds more in the long run than the next digital babysitter.
7. Take introducing new boyfriends or girlfriends into their lives with caution and patience. The separation is jarring enough. Absorbing any new people into the family dynamic is a sensitive tightrope that only you know when to pull the safety net. Make sure there is stability in that relationship, before bringing them into the mix. Your children deserve that.
Compassion and Self-Care
8. Use your resources. Keep your children guarded against the turmoil by settling as much as you can in your divorce with a mediator. Tie in self-care into your routine and seek therapeutic practices to help manage and regulate your own emotions. A stable center allows you to help your children.
9. Understand that your kids are still growing up. Your divorce although major is in conjunction with their entire world. Their ability to adapt is ever-changing. Unfortunately, there is no timetable for their ability to accept and process what is happening.
10. Don’t forget to give yourself compassion. Find healthy self-care practices. This is a stressful time. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Eventually, the finish line will be behind you, but for now, maintain a manageable pace.
11. Recognize everyone’s desire to grieve, and all its forms. You can feel OK one day and struggle the next. You are allowed to.
12. Make sure you set aside Me Time. Take care of you. Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint. But with your children along for the race, it is a lot like a team bike tour. You need to make sure you are going at this at a healthy pace and keeping your team together. Communication with your children or other team riders is essential on the windy turns, as much as the larger straightaways. Knowing when you need to stay steady and conserve your energy for those hills and challenges you’ll continually come across is important for everyone involved.
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