Many marriages end in divorce. Considering this, countless children are impacted when their parents divorce. Some areas of children’s lives that are affected include where they live, what school they attend, what types of activities they can participate in and their contact with friends and family members. Despite these changes, it helps when children can continue to have regular time with both parents.
This is often a difficult time for parents and children alike. But there are steps parents can take to minimise the impact of their divorce. Here are some tips for how you can help your children, and yourself, through this transition:
• Rely on friends and family for the support you will need.
• Avoid dating for several months following the separation to give you and your children time to adapt to the changes.
• Avoid arguing with or speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your children. Schedule times to talk when the children are not present, and don’t criticise the other parent.
• Communicate with each other to make necessary plans and arrangements; this isn’t a child’s responsibility.
• Let your children be children. Don’t place adult responsibilities on them or confide in them as though they are adults.
• Financially support your children to maintain their standard of living.
• Have consistent rules and routines for your children in your home.
• Consider mediation, which involves parents working with a neutral third-party to assist with negotiations. Mediation is associated with better outcomes for children and families, when compared to court involvement.