There are many reasons a child might wind up spending significant amounts of time in two different homes. Unfortunately, divorces are a reality for many marriages in this country. Some children wind up being raised just as much by their parents as their grandparents. Regardless of the reason why children are raised in two different homes, this can wind up confusing for kids as they try to adjust to this living situation. There are essential pieces of advice that parents should take note of as well as common mistakes that parents should avoid.
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- Hold Kids Accountable for their Behavior
When kids go through a traumatic experience, such as a divorce, it can be tempting to allow kids to run the show as a reward for their cooperation with the divorce. However, it is important to create a sense of normalcy that children can get used to. Letting kids run the show will not translate well to other areas of authority, such as school or sports. Therefore, hold kids accountable for their behavior. Praise them for good behavior and impart discipline for misbehavior.
- Acknowledge that Circumstances Will Change
At the same time, trying to create an exact replica of the dual parent household is not feasible. A divorce has occurred and nothing will ever be the same. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that things have changed. Let the kids know that their parents are living apart and that they will spend a substantial amount of time at each house. It is important for children to understand that both of their parents still love them, and they will be there to support them through this tough transition. Get this out in the open to help kids adjust sooner.
- Organize Family Activities
Continue to plan activities outside of the house. This will help kids to bond with their parents during a tough transition. This will also help kids realize that they are still normal children just like their friends. This will reinforce the idea that while life might have changed, certain aspects still remain the same.
- Don’t Push Kids to Talk
Many parents believe that forcing kids to talk about the divorce will help them overcome the trauma associated with a divorce sooner. Forcing kids to discuss their trauma is not a good idea as it can worsen the problem. However, it is important to let kids know that their parents are there if they would like to talk. Be open without being forceful.
- Don’t Bash the Other Parent
It is common for one parent to consistently bad-mouth the other parent in a divorce. Some parents want to turn the kids against the other parent in an effort to take sole emotional possession of the children. Do not do this. Speaking negatively about the other parent can impact the child by putting them in the middle, or making them feel like they need to choose sides. Regardless of the relationship they have with each other, parents should encourage kids by reminding them that both parents still love them.
- Don’t Jump into Another Relationship with False Hope
When a new significant other enters the life of one parent, that individual also enters the lives of the children. Do not expect that the children will instantly accept this new special someone. Whether or not this is true, kids often believe that the other parent is being replaced by this new person, which can time for kids to overcome.
Hire An Experienced Attorney
David Pedrazas has over 20 years of experience helping couples through difficult divorces. In any divorce, the children should be prioritized; their well-being and happiness are essential for a forward transition. If you find yourself in need of legal representation, contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas today for a free consultation. We can be reached online, or by calling 801-263-7078.