November 20th is Universal Children’s Day, a time dedicated to improving the welfare of all children. When two parents get divorced, children must transition into a new lifestyle as several aspects of their living situation are changed. Not seeing both parents all the time or having to split time spent with both of them may bring on a mix of emotions including feelings of confusion and guilt.
Mr. David Badanes Esq. of Badanes Law Office on Long Island shared his suggestions for co-parenting and helping kids cope with divorce in healthy ways.
Create a Parenting Plan: Keeping in contact with your former spouse will help proactively avoid confusion and conflict regarding custody dates and times outlined in the court order. It is important not to argue about child custody or visitation in front of your children. Once a plan is established, familiarize your child with the agreed-upon routine. This will help them find stability in all the changes going on around them. It is important for children to understand that both parents will still be present in their lives.
Keep Conversations Age Appropriate: Divorce impacts children of all ages. When talking to your children about the divorce, tailor the conversation to their understanding. Since kids develop emotionally at different rates, the way you discuss divorce with an elementary-aged school child is different than the way that you would introduce the topic to a college-aged child. No matter the age of your child, ensure them that they are still loved by both of their parents. Maintaining positive relationships with both parents will help with the coping process.
Validate Your Child’s Feelings: Every child responds to divorce differently. A school-aged child may react to the divorce with moodiness and a desire for their parents to get back together. Adolescents may experience depression, aggression, and trouble focusing on their work. Make sure to reassure your child that the feelings they are experiencing are normal. Being a good listener will go a long way in helping your child adjust. You may also want to consider counseling for you, your children or family counseling.
Keep Routines as Consistent as Possible: Children positively benefit from structure and routine. With all the changes that come along with a divorce, try and keep certain elements of their routine that are in your control consistent. It is also important to have a conversation with your child to see what they like or don’t like about their current routines to see if any positive changes can be made. Making certain changes within reason can help with adjusting to a new lifestyle as it allows your child to feel heard. If your children split time between two households, discuss rules and boundaries with your ex-spouse to enforce similar rules in both homes. This will prevent conflicts between child and parent and between former spouses.
The circumstances surrounding every divorce are different and it is up to you to decide what is right for your children. If you are having trouble figuring out your co-parenting situation and would like some advice, there are plenty of resources available to you, including counseling for yourself or your child.
David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. provides real-world advice to help you through this challenging time. If you are contemplating getting a divorce, and need an attorney to represent you, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at email@example.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.