The divorce you just went through was emotionally tough, but it may have been even more difficult for your children. They just endured the disruption of their parents splitting up and the upheaval of their lives as they knew it changing for good. You and other Louisiana parents in the same situation may want to know how to make the months and years after a divorce easier on your kids.
HelpGuide explains that children crave stability and structure, especially when they are feeling uncertain about life. You may feel guilty about putting them through a divorce and tempted to toss out the rules for a while and just let them have fun. However, it’s important to realize that routine is more crucial than ever at this time. You might gently ease them into the new routines of living in a single-parent household in the following ways:
- Set up consistent times for chores, homework, meals and bedtime.
- Since your ex may do things differently when the kids are visiting at his or her place, make sure your kids understand your household rules, expectations and consequences for misbehaving.
- Reassure your children that both parents still love them, and the divorce had nothing to do with them.
- Be sure to set aside time for family activities and togetherness, even if it’s just a game or movie night.
You may also want to watch for signs that your children may not be adjusting well to the divorce, such as difficulty in school, behavioral problems, withdrawal and self-harm. In many cases, kids just need time to adapt to the new situation and to be reassured through consistent routines and love that everything will be fine. However, in some instances, children may need to speak with a therapist to help them deal with their feelings of confusion and loss after their parents’ divorce.