The romantic relationship between the couple may no longer exist, it may have evolved into something more contemptuous or simply failed. Whatever the reasons behind the divorce one thing remains true: both parents remain connected to their children.
So how can parents navigate a divorce and better ensure their children adjust? These three tips can help:
- Communicate. A recent publication by clinical child psychologist who specializes in these matters stresses the importance of communication. Take a moment to sit down with your children and explain the separation. Explain what it will mean for them and give them the opportunity to ask questions.
- But don't communicate too much. Your children do not need to know every detail of the divorce. They are kids. They should not see the divorce affidavit and court documents. Keep those off the kitchen counter and put them away. Do not talk negatively about your ex in front of the children. Your ex is still the child's parent. Hold on to these frustrations until you are in appropriate company.
- Remember, your kids need you. Unless there is a concern about abuse, children generally thrive best when both parents play an active role in their children's lives. The same expert noted above has worked with children of divorce since 1968. She calls on fathers to go beyond the "fun" dad routine. It is important both parents take on homework and discipline to help better ensure overall adjustment to post-divorce life.
An exact 50/50 split of time with the children may not be best. The best option will vary for each family. As such, it is wise to seek legal counsel to help devise a parenting plan that works best for your unique family needs.