Divorce is a difficult and trying life event, which can have a negative emotional impact on the couple splitting, as well as and, most importantly, their children. Although there may be no specific set of guidelines for divorced parents to follow, they can avoid a number of pitfalls that could make an already tough situation worse.
Avoid Being Unaccommodating
This is particularly true in the case of the parent who is moving out of the family house. An important part of helping your children through the divorce process is providing them with as comfortable and as stable of a living environment as possible.
If it is you who is moving into a new residence, it is critical to choose a place where your children will feel “at home.” Make sure they will have a room to sleep in. In addition, do not turn the place into a bachelor/bachelorette pad. Decorate the new place with items from the old house and be sure to hang pictures of your children on the walls or place on desks. If you are remaining in the family home, do not rush to pack away anything your ex might have left behind and avoid rearranging furniture or doing any major redecorating for a while.
Do Not Speak Ill Of Your Former Spouse
When you speak badly about your ex, past hurt is rehashed, which places your children in the middle of a delicate situation. The split has been hard enough on them as it is. It is unfair to place yet another emotional burden on their shoulders. It is more advisable to hold your ex in the highest light possible. Highlight his or her personal and professional accomplishments and always insist your children show him or her the same level of respect you would want them to display to you.
Do Not Date Until The Divorce Is Official
Wait until one facet of your life is complete before delving into another one. Dating prematurely can confuse your children and give them more emotional burdens than they are yet prepared to handle. It is recommended you use the time until the divorce is finalized as an opportunity to let your children adjust to what will be a new life and circumstances.
Do Not Forget About Your Kids
Include your children in your new life. Invite them to your new place, call them frequently and attend their athletic and scholastic events.
Do Not Spoil Your Children
There is no shame in providing your kids what they need and purchasing gifts when and where appropriate, but it can be deleterious to spoil them. Children are smart and can see through this tactic; drawing the conclusion you are trying to “buy them off” to assuage your guilt over what happened.
When in doubt, consult with a professional divorce attorney who can assist you in avoiding the typical pitfalls of divorce – and help you make a smooth transition into your new lifestyle.