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Whether you’ve experienced divorce yourself or have watched a loved one deal with it, you’ll know that divorce is an emotional time which can be difficult to cope with. More often than not, it hits children the hardest, as they’re watching the two people they love the most become angry and upset. Emotions run high during this time, with grief, sadness and the upheaval of your family life, so it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to making it easier on the younger members of the family. Here are some ways in which you can help to reduce the stress and help them, and yourself, through the emotional rollercoaster.
Firstly, it’s important not to play the blame game – no one person is to blame more than the other. If you’re going through a divorce, the blame is irrelevant, so placing it on one person will simply add to the anger and stress. It’s easy to lose perspective during this time, as your emotions are heightened and you’re trying to navigate this new stage of your life – but bear in mind that your children are also struggling with this.
When it comes to the custody battle, your children’s welfare is paramount – so, when you’re trying to work around schedules, remember that this comes first. Ask yourself whether or not you’re getting angry at your ex over the situation itself, or are you angry that the arrangement isn’t best for your child? The latter should always be your first port of call. As before, try not to put your ex down in front of your children, as this only adds to their discomfort and leads to them feeling unable to discuss their emotions in front of either parent.
It may sound obvious, but co-parenting is very different when you both live in different households. Suddenly, you’re battling with your ex over what your child is eating or watching when they’re in their care. Unless it puts them in danger, you need to accept that you can’t control how they decide to raise them when they have care of them. Lastly, remember to keep an open mind when it comes to new relationships. Most divorced parents will embark on a new relationship at some point, which can be difficult for children to deal with. Be respectful to your ex by letting them know if you’re re-entering the dating game, as chances are they will want to meet this new person in their child’s life, and vice versa.