Children of all ages may come across difficulties when their parents separate, and they begin to live between two homes. Even though both you and your ex will remain in your child’s life, living in single-parent households will be an adjustment.
To help your child cope with the emotional side of divorce, it can helpful to remind them that the love of their parents will remain the same. There will also be all sorts of physical changes that come along with moving like new homes, new school and new friends. But keeping some of their daily routines consistent between both of homes may provide a sense of stability.
Knowing the love of your parents can only grow stronger through difficult life events can be comforting. Your children might not know how to put their feelings into words in the beginning of the divorce process or may be the first one in their friend group to have their parents separate. Instead of letting your child drown in the emotional effects of divorce, you can let them know that you are there for them no matter what. You can provide reassurance with both your words and actions — from verbally expressing your love on a regular basis to hugging your little ones.
Routines offer a sense of predictability in life. You’ve probably experienced your manager calling you into a last-minute meeting when you have a long list of emails and tasks you need to complete. You didn’t plan on the meeting and now you are frustrated. It can be equally frustrating, confusing and even unhealthy to have one parent expect their children to be in bed by 9 p.m., while the other doesn’t monitor bedtime. You and your ex have the freedom to create their own household rules after divorce. But keeping some consistency in daily and weekly habits between both homes may help your children feel more secure.
When it seems like a child’s universe is spinning a mile a minute, you can help them feel grounded with your support and thoughtful co-parenting.