When it comes to divorce, it may often feel like there is absolutely nothing positive or constructive to come from the process. However, when you have children, it is imperative that you and your ex make an effort to put the children's best interests at the forefront.
There are several key things you can do both during and after your divorce to help your children experience less trauma and adjust in a healthy way to their new reality. Here are just three of the pointers that many experts recommend when it comes to making your divorce as child-friendly as possible.
1. Watch what you say in front of your children
Always keep in mind that your children are the innocent victims of divorce, and as such, they should not have to suffer the fallout from your own marital trauma. Although they cannot change the fact that you are getting a divorce, you can make the process less stressful for your children if you avoid speaking badly about your ex. Your children do not need to hear your personal opinions about the other parent. Keep those discussions for your adult friends and family, and do not bring up those matters in front of your children.
2. Make an effort to be flexible
If you are not willing to collaborate with your ex when it comes to joint custody arrangements, the day-to-day logistical challenges of shared custody can become a source of conflict. The more flexible you can be when changes occur or when your ex has to modify the schedule, the more likely you and your ex will be able to maintain a cordial co-parenting relationship. Although you should never tolerate violations of your custody agreement, a little flexibility in terms of unexpected events can go a long way towards creating harmony.
3. Ensure your children have an emotional outlet
Children of different ages experience a wide range of emotions as the divorce process continues. It is critical that you provide your children with a safe space where they feel they can express all their conflicting emotions. Healthy emotional expression can help teach your children how to handle difficult life situations, which is a skill they can use again and again as they move through life. In that sense, the divorce process can be a constructive building block to help your children build emotional resilience.