Families that have gone through divorce normally go on to heal, adjust and many times often go on to enjoy even better lives than they experienced compared to dealing with troubled family relationships. Although adults may understand and even initiate the process of their own free will, children have little authority. Hiring a child psychologist to help families cope and regroup after a divorce is necessary for children that don’t vocally express their feelings. Here are six things that you can do as a parent to help your child see the light at the end of the tunnel, and go back to being his or her normal self.
1. Keep Home Life Changes to a Minimum
After a divorce, it may be necessary for you to move out of the marital home into a smaller apartment, or to take a job that is a distance from where your child lives. These changes aren’t always avoidable, but you can still work to keep your home life as stable as you can for the sake of your child. This means that your child should be able to know that he or she will always have a space in your residence, or that his or her favorite chair will be kept in the living room. Anchor the things that you are able to keep the same so that your child has a good sense of stability while in your care.
2. Maintain Your Relationships with Other Relatives
Even though parents often get divorced while their children are still adolescents, they don’t have to part with their extended families if the situations are not tumultuous. Stay in contact with your former mother and father-in-law, and maintain your bond with your own extended relatives. Continue to go to family reunions and other events with your child in tow so that they don’t think that their family bonds have been effected in the divorce.
3. Participate In Activities Together
When you take your children to a child psychologist, let them know that you will be sitting patiently outside and are available for them if they have questions or need to take a break. In fact, you should take your child to both their regularly scheduled activities when you can as well as new activities that they help to associate with their new family makeup. Knowing that you are there will help them to feel more at ease.
4. Keep an Eye on School Performance
Like adults, children can fall into a bit of a funk. Talk to both their teachers and their child psychologist about any concerns you have pertaining to homework and adjustment after their parents have gone through divorce proceedings. It is best to ask for help well before serious problems arise.
5. Encourage Extracurricular Activity Participation
One of the best ways to quell depression is to get your children activity and around other kids their age. Have them sign up for after school activities, and get them connected to family friend programs on their free weekends. You don’t want to overburden them with extracurricular activities, but you do want to help fill up much of their idle time.
6. Avoid Introducing New Partners for A While
After kids have gone through a divorce, what you don’t’ want to do is immediately thrust a new parent figure in their lives. They will still be sorting out their minds and their hearts, and they may end up becoming withdrawn if they see you disregarding their feelings. You can always date in your free time, but wait for a while prior to introducing a new mate to your children or even considering moving in together.
Statistics show that most children who live in a two parent home will personally experience divorce and separation during their childhood. This experience can be traumatic, but only if their parents don’t work together to make things as amicable for their kids as possible. Continue to put your kids first, agree to co-parent and be mature about what your expectations for life after divorce will be.