Getting divorced is never easy, but it is especially difficult when children are involved. It is helpful when parents are dedicated to working together to help their children find success after the divorce is finalized, but what does this mean? What strategies can actually help kids to move on?
Although the details vary depending on each situation, the following tips apply to most families:
#1: Get on the same page
Co-parenting experts recommend both parents have an idea of what post-divorce life will look like for the kids before they start the conversation with their children. This can help parents navigate the conversation with their children, have answers to initial questions and ease concerns.
This can be as simple as both parents planning to remain in the same town or as detailed as knowing what “home” will look like for the children when with each parent.
#2: Give the children a job
It can also help to get the children involved in setting up each home. Let them have some control when possible. Perhaps they choose which toys go where or what bedding they get at each home. Maybe they get to choose a new paint color for their room. The ability to make these decisions can help children have a sense of ownership during a time that may seem otherwise out of their control.
There is also benefit to having responsibilities within each home. Having a few chores can help children to feel like part of a family unit instead of just a guest.
#3: Keep communication open
Let kids know what is going on, let them ask questions. Experts with the Child Mind Institute recommend open communication, but caution parents to avoid speaking poorly about their ex — after all, their ex is still your children’s other parent.