As difficult as divorce is for parents to navigate, it can be even harder for children. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to result in children feeling like their world is falling apart around them. Using these ways to prioritize your children through divorce, you can ensure that your kids feel loved and heard despite a changing family dynamic.
Children are intuitive, so they can tell when you aren’t telling them the truth. Make them feel important and a part of the conversation by sharing as much as they can handle based on your perception of their maturity. Your child wants clarity, so do your best to explain the situation simply — what the new living situation is, who new partners are and any other changes to your child’s lifestyle.
Make it clear that, while the marriage is over, the family will continue. As long as the situation allows, remind your child that they’ll still be able to spend time with both parents. Reassure them that their favorite activities won’t disappear and that their lives will change as minimally as possible.
Make a Parenting Plan
If you and your ex-partner are able to co-parent, create a parenting plan together that focuses on what’s best for your children. Schedules, transportation and communication are all important to flesh out when making the plan — if one parent has moved away, how will your child get there? Who is responsible for gas money or plane tickets?
If you can, try to make this breakdown even, and remember: your child comes first.
Certain situations call for supervised visitation, wherein a third party’s presence is mandatory for visitation with one spouse. This need can arise due to a spouse’s alcoholism, drug abuse or any other known habit that could endanger your child’s safety. Supervised visitation offers your children the opportunity to see the other parent in a completely safe environment.
Now that you know how to prioritize your children through divorce, do what you can to help them get to the other side of this situation as happy and fulfilled as possible.