Dealing with a divorce is one of the most difficult things you can go through in life. This process only becomes harder if there are kids involved because even if you feel like breaking down and giving up, as a parent, you will be required to push through the pain and keep going. You will need to provide your little ones with an endless amount of support and stability. It is also vital that you deal with all of the big issues so that they don’t have to. If you are wondering where to start, below are five pieces of advice that will help you on your way.
Focus on your custody arrangement
The first step is to focus on your custody arrangement. As soon as you have dealt with legal matters, you will be able to take back control of your lives. Before you make any drastic moves, you need to decide whether or not you are pushing for sole custody or joint custody. When you are making this choice, it is vital that you prioritize the health, happiness, and safety of your little ones. Instead of allowing your own emotions to dominate the situation, you need to adopt an objective standpoint. Why not hire a child custody attorney to help you do this? Turning to the professionals is also your best chance of securing an outcome that works for all parties involved. The custody of your children is one area where you can’t afford to leave things up to chance.
Talk about your feelings and encourage your little ones to do the same
If you are going to manage your feelings during this process, it is important that find a suitable outlet for all of your emotions. Perhaps you have a friend or family member that is particularly close to you. Why not schedule in regular meetups where you can talk through your issues? Just remember to pick someone who doesn’t have a connection to your ex-partner. Otherwise, you run the risk of private information being passed on. You could also jeopardize a precious relationship by putting your loved one in the middle of a sticky situation. If you are truly struggling to find a suitable confidant, you could always meet with a therapist. A therapist is a fantastic opportunity for you to just let loose, instead of putting on a brave face. A trained professional will also help you to talk to your youngsters, without revealing too many details about your separation. You could even go all out and find a children’s therapist that will support the younger members of your family through this trying time.
Find time for reflection
As a parent, it is likely that you will spend a lot of time handling your hectic schedule. However, every so often you need to take a step back to evaluate your options. Rather than acting out of impulse, you should think carefully about every decision you make. One way of doing this is by reclaiming your evenings. Try to find at least one hour for a relaxing activity of your choosing. You could draw a bubble bath, take up meditation, or write in a journal. It is the perfect opportunity for you to clear your mind and collect your thoughts. Alternatively, you could find time for this during your busy days. Perhaps you could take public transport to work, as opposed to driving as this will give you the freedom you need to zone out and think about other matters. Or, maybe you could order your groceries online and use the time you’ve saved to visit a coffee shop for a quiet drink. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that you have your thoughts in order when the time comes to return to your children. Failing to take this step could result in you losing your temper or making rash decisions that will negatively affect your loved ones.
Introduce structure into your lives
During your time for reflection, you should be thinking of ways to introduce structure into your lives. As the family dynamic changes, it is possible that your children will lose their sense of security. If you are going to give this back to them, you will need to hold regular family meetings, establish ground rules, and follow through with all of your rewards and punishments. Although there will be times when you children require understanding and a sensitive ear, there will also be plenty of times when you have to step up as a strict parent. Regardless of your current circumstances, homework still needs to be completed, bedtimes need to be respected, and chores need to be carried out. In the short term, you may experience some resistance. However, further down the line, your little ones will be grateful that you restored some order to the chaos.
Find an escape for you and your children to enjoy
While it is vital that you maintain order in everyday life, it is also essential that you provide your youngsters with tons of opportunities to escape. If your kids are overwhelmed by everything that is going on, it is likely that they will appreciate the chance to get away from it all. That is why you should think about planning a family vacation. Have no fear; this doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Even a weekend away could make all the difference. Alternatively, you could have fun turning your backyard into a campsite or setting up a den in your front room. Not only will this be an incredible excuse for your kids to run wild, but it could also be a fantastic opportunity for you to let go of your worries. The strain of handling a divorce may have caused you to take life far too seriously, so it is important that you show your children your fun and carefree side. This will prevent them from worrying about your wellbeing, as they will be able to see that you are still in a positive place.