Divorce is hard on adults, but it can be especially hard on kids.
That doesn’t mean it has to stay hard. There are ways you can settle into a new normal, and that new normal can be even better for you and your kids.
Here are 5 ways to increase your children’s quality of life after your divorce is finalized.
Follow the Terms of Your Custody Arrangement
A lot goes into the divorce process. From divvying up assets to unique considerations in divorce cases with special needs children, you, your partner, your attorneys, and a judge spent a lot of time agreeing on what is best for you and your children.
Stick to the terms you set forth in the custody arrangement so your children have a chance to settle in. Don’t switch up whose house they’re going to be at and when, and make sure you stick to your responsibilities, whether it is making sure your child has enough lunch money or taking them to a recurring appointment.
Develop and Stick to a Routine
Sticking to the terms of your custody arrangement makes life go much more smoothly for you and your kids, but it also gives your family the ability to develop a routine.
Routines are important, especially to kids, because it gives them a sense of control over their lives. They know where they’re going, what they’re doing, and when, which reduces stress and anxiety.
Take the time to develop a new routine according to the terms of your custody arrangement, and then make sure you stick to it. Keeping a routine gives your children peace of mind and creates a more peaceful household, which are both important when settling into a new life after divorce.
Openly Support the Other Parent
There are probably plenty of reasons why you and your spouse got divorced. That doesn’t mean your children have to get caught in the middle of it.
Remember that children are not your friends, confidants, or therapists. They love both their parents very much and can develop long-term effects as a result of two parents who bad-mouth each other.
Do your best to openly support your ex-spouse in front of your kids. Talk about the positive aspects of the relationship they have with your children and listen when your child wants to talk about what they’re up to. You don’t necessarily have to say things you don’t mean, but you shouldn’t actively look for negative things to say about them in front of your kids either.
Work on Your Own Happiness
Most parents spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about their children’s happiness, but your happiness matters too! That’s especially true as you try to move on after a divorce.
Your children can tell when you aren’t happy, even if they can’t quite put their finger on it, which can make them sad. Not to mention, it’s your job to make being a grownup look good! Find ways to model finding joy for your kids and they are more likely to prioritize finding joy in their own lives after they grow up.
A few ways to have fun post-divorce include:
- Make time to go out with friends
- Start doing something you used to love when you were young
- Start a new hobby
- Carve out time for self-care that matters to you
Be Open and Honest
Your kids probably had a lot of questions during the divorce, and they will continue to have questions after your divorce is finalized. It’s almost never a good idea to lie. Instead, you’ll want to be open and honest.
That doesn’t mean you have to be completely open and honest. It’s not appropriate to share too much information and accidentally use your children as a support system.
Instead, you should strive to be honest in an age-appropriate way. That might mean sticking to the facts when it comes to your ex-spouse’s behavior, but not divulging your emotions or opinions. If you’re talking to older children, you can ask them questions about how they feel and allow them to direct the conversation.
Settling into a new life after a divorce can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean the outcome has to be bad. It can actually end up being better for everyone involved! It just takes some time and effort. When you follow the tips on this list, you can end up making life better for your kids in the long run.