While you are in the middle of a divorce, you are going to be experiencing a whole host of conflicting feelings. In terms of how you feel towards your spouse, you can go from sad to angry to lonely. But when it comes to your children, you need to protect them from the wide range of complex emotions you are experiencing.
In essence, you are expected to be at your best with your children when you are at your lowest. Here are some things to focus on so that you can help your children transition to life as you and your spouse begin new lives apart.
Even though you and your spouse are not going to continue as husband and wife, your children will continue to see you as their parents. After you separate and live in two different places, your children will need consistency. For instance, the rules at one location need to transfer to the other. Simple things like bedtimes, nutrition, and screen time allotments should be more or less the same.
Part of the reason for this is to let your children see that their emotional health is still important to you. Granted, they might be young enough to not understand it in such terms, but they will feel it and recognize it. If children blame themselves for the divorce, this can cripple their self-esteem. Counteract this by telling your children how much you care about them.
Channel Your Anger
First off, it is okay to be angry. It is one of the stages you will have to experience as you work your way towards acceptance. What is not acceptable is turning this anger towards your children or trying to “get back” at your spouse via your child.
Your children do not view your spouse the same way you do. By condemning your former spouse in front of your children, you are not gaining points; you are not getting them on your side either. It only harms your kids emotionally. If you were seriously wronged by your spouse, your children may see this as they mature.
Find ways of channeling your anger. Get sufficient, consistent sleep, eat well, exercise, and even seek out the help of a therapist. By healthily processing your emotions, you will be able to be a parent in front of your children rather than a vindictive spouse.
Don’t Keep Score
If you don’t have primary custody, your children might be scared or uncomfortable when they visit you. If they get upset and express how much they miss your spouse, don’t see this as evidence of how badly you are failing as a parent.
Because there is so much change, it is common for your children to become emotionally overwhelmed. Instead of viewing this as a reason why your children prefer your spouse over you, empathize with your kids. Let them understand that you understand how they are feeling. Don’t fight their feelings by telling them to stop, or worse, by getting mad at them for missing your spouse.
OMG Law Firm
At OMG Law Firm, we understand how difficult the divorce process is. We will be at our best when you need it the most. With the experienced attorneys at OMG Law Firm at your side, you can focus on your children and their needs while we manage your legal matters. Contact us online to schedule a consultation.