Divorce can be difficult for everyone within a family. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of spending time with the children during the emotional process…
Why Doing Activities with Your Kids is Important During Your Divorce
If you’re going through a divorce, it can be difficult to juggle emotions and daily tasks. It’s important to look after your well-being during the legal proceedings as a marriage comes to the official end.
Divorce can be a time to reflect on what went wrong in your marriage and can play heavily on your mind at times. Seeking the right legal advice through divorce lawyers can take the weight off your shoulders and let you concentrate on important issues at home. In addition, you may also consider undergoing a marriage therapy if you feel depressed and exhausted.
Explaining divorce to children involved can be hard, they may not fully understand at first. Over time they’ll come to understand but it’s important to spend time with them to allow them to ask any questions they may have.
Here are some reasons why spending time with the children during a divorce is important…
Gives an Opportunity to Talk Openly About Feelings
Children often have a tough time during a divorce understanding what is going on and how it affects them. This can be made worse if they’re not given the appropriate chance to ask questions in an environment, they feel able to.
Spending lots of time together whilst the divorce is happening can make your child feel less stressed and able to open up, and it’s also an opportunity to reassure them if they have concerns.
You may find your child is really open to asking questions, in which case, try to be as honest as possible without bad-mouthing your ex-partner to them. Try and keep the conversations focused on how it will or won’t affect them, so they know what to expect.
Don’t feel you have to press your child for answers straight away but spending more time together means that you’ll be able to ask questions and encourage your child to discuss their feelings with you naturally and calmly.
Provides a New Routines to Ease Anxiety
During a time of massive changes and upheaval, making a regular habit of spending time with your children can make them feel more secure and confident. Setting aside a certain time each week to help your child with their favourite activity means helps you to establish new routines after the divorce.
It can also be very reassuring for kids to know that you are reliable and stick to these routines, as during a divorce, they may feel like everything in their life is changing and they don’t know what to expect, but having parents stick to a routine can make it an easier process for them. Some children may experience anxiety after their parents get divorced, and this is one way of reducing it.
Provides Attention Children Need
It may seem obvious, and you may already believe you provide enough attention for your children, but it doesn’t hurt to be a little extra attentive during harder times during a divorce.
This doesn’t mean showering them with gifts and over baring affection as this can often lead to negative mindsets in a child, i.e becoming spoiled. It’s also important to not try to overcompensate in an attempt to win points with them to form favouritism between parents.
If both parents are being equally attentive then this can create a calm sense of reassurance for the children and although a lot has changed, both parents love them both the same.
Helps Maintain Strong Bonds Between Parent and Child
During a divorce, custody is not always split evenly, and it’s particularly important for the parent with less time with the kids to make sure that they’re spending good quality time together in order to maintain a good relationship.
If you’re a parent without primary custody, always make it a priority to do your children’s favourite activities with them, as it’s a great way to make them feel more valued and loved.
Try planning your time ahead with them and informing them of your plans so they get excited to see you. Following through with these plans will let the children know you value time spent with them.
This can also be extended to older children caught up in divorce. Teenagers, despite maybe not seeming so, still crave attention from parents so it’s best not to assume they don’t want time with you. Try asking them if there’s anything, in particular, they feel like doing, to show you’re making effort.
Don’t ignore your own feelings during the divorce process…
Although we have mainly discussed how time spent with children during a divorce can help them, don’t forget about your wellbeing either.
Children, no matter the age, can be a great source of unconditional love that will be a part of you forever. It’s fine to lean on them for emotional support as much as they will lean on you too.
Set aside time in your week to incorporate time with the children for your own benefit as well as theirs. Be honest and open about the divorce but try not to pass on any negative thoughts of your ex-spouse.
The marriage may have failed but being a good parent is a separate skill that isn’t diminished after a breakup, given you make the appropriate efforts with your children.