Whether you have full custody of your kids or you share custody with your ex, parenting through and after your divorce is no easy task. It will be different for everyone involved – both you and your kids – but that doesn’t mean it has to be worse. Here are some ways to be a better parent after your divorce.
Love Your Kids
You already love your kids, right? Well, this is about loving them unconditionally, and making sure they know it.
Kids are resilient, but if you think they’re going to come out of the divorce unscathed, you’re kidding yourself. The tough truth is that they will have long-lasting scars from experiencing the separation of their parents. Luckily, you’ll be there to help them get through it.
While navigating through these trying times, the most important thing you can do for your children is to tell and show them that you love them as much as possible.
Be Honest and Consistent with Them
As hard as it can sometimes be to tell our kids the truth about the divorce, hiding it from them will only lead to a larger problem later. Use age-appropriate language and details, and do your best to honestly answer any questions that they have.
Be consistent with your children. Your kids’ routines have been shaken up with the divorce. Help them build new, strong routines and show them that you’re always there for them, always reliable.
Dealing with Your Ex
If you’re sharing custody with your ex, you’re bound to disagree on issues relating to your children. Whether the split was amicable and you’re on good terms with one another, or the two of you are always at each other’s throats, always put your kids’ needs first. Don’t let personal vendettas get in the way of this most basic parenting duty.
Don’t badmouth your ex in front of your kids, either. Always remain respectful and support his or her role as a co-parent and positive role model.
You Deserve some “Me” Time
This might, on the surface, sound selfish, but it’s not. The divorce was likely a shock to your personal identity, so make sure to give yourself enough time to recover and rebuild your life. You might find yourself spread pretty thin as a single parent, but don’t forget about taking care of yourself. Healthy, happy parents raise healthy, happy children.
Adapting to your new life as a single parent will show you all you’re capable of. You’ll face challenges that you had never faced before, and you’ll come out the other side stronger than you were before. And your children will benefit from it.