Divorce is not going to be a walk in the park for any member of the family. As angry as you may be with your soon-to-be ex, you may feel empathy and compassion for the pain you are both facing at the end of your marriage. For the sake of your children, it's important to stay strong and focus on developing a positive relationship with your ex as single, co-parents, and talk to your divorce lawyer like Karie L. Sanoba, Attorney at Law about how to protect yourself going forward in your quest for custody. Beyond that, try to do the following things for kids each day during the divorce and beyond.
Show Your Kids That They Can Rely on You
As some aspects of your kids' lives can become chaotic during a divorce, it is very important for you to show them that they can rely on you. If you have an appointment to pick them up from your ex's place, always show up on time. On the days when you are supposed to pick them up from school, be there before they get out. If your ex has an appointment to see them, make sure that you are prepared on time.
Teach your kids to rely on you in ways beyond punctuality, too. Give them a phone number where they can reach you any time they need to talk to you, even if they are staying with your ex or a friend. Keep any promise you make to your child. Show them that they can rely on you to always be there for them even during the divorce and beyond.
Ask Open-Ended Questions About Their Feelings
It can be hard for some children to talk about how they are feeling during a divorce. They may wish they could open up and share how they feel, but it can be difficult for them to do so. Going to family therapy together is a great idea for any family during a divorce. Beyond that, also help your children express themselves each day by asking open-ended questions on a variety of topics.
Some good questions to ask your children include:
- What have some of your friends said about having divorced parents?
- Can you tell me what you wish things would be like during the divorce?
- What do you wish people understood about what you are going through right now?
- How could I make this easier for you?
- Can you tell me about what has been bothering you today?
- What are you willing to do to make this easier on your siblings?
- Can you tell me about what is most difficult about this for you?
- What do you think would happen if you were in charge?
- What has been a positive thing that has happened during the divorce?
- What do you feel about how things have changed?
By asking open-ended questions, you are showing your children how much you care and are interested in how they think and feel. It also empowers them to be heard and understood. It can be a great thing for you both you and your kids.
Finally, keep in mind that a divorce is not going to be easy on any children. It's only natural for kids to resist change and wish that their parents would get back together. However, when you are proactive in helping your children through this tough time by taking sweet, small actions each day to show your love for them, you will go a long way towards helping them heal and become stronger human beings.