5 Pieces Of Parenting Advice To Help Children Adjust Post-Divorce

By Joshua Stern
Now that you’re divorced, you may be wondering how your role as a parent must change. The truth is it doesn’t need to change much if at all. Instead, you now need to consider your parental role in light of the new relationship you have with your ex as co-parents, and how each of you can make your children’s adjustment to your divorce as seamless as possible. It may mean not fixing what’s not broken and, on the flip side, fixing what may be very broken, like the way in which you relate to your former spouse.

As a divorce and family law attorney who has counseled hundreds of clients through their divorces, I am comfortable sharing a few pieces of wisdom I have gleaned about how to create an easier transition for children of divorce when the dust does finally settle. Whether you were involved in an amicable or high-conflict split, as parents it is incumbent upon you to see your children through this difficult time with as little disruption as possible. Here’s how.

1. Be consistent. Creating stability post-divorce is critical. As children begin traveling back and forth between two houses, it is important for them to know what you expect of them. Establishing a unified set of rules, such as a curfew, bedtime, and time allotted for playing video games will go a long way toward easing insecurities that may arise when one household splits into two. Children crave structure and will strive to meet your expectations—as long as they know what they are.

2. Don’t disparage. You may think your spouse is evil but to your children, your ex is someone they love. As children grow up and become independent, they struggle to reconcile their identity with where they came from and what qualities they have inherited from their parents, physical or otherwise. Do your best to keep such conversations at bay, remembering that when you criticize a parent, you are inadvertently criticizing the child.

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