When you filed for divorce in a Colorado court, you knew the decision would have a significant impact on your children’s lives. You no doubt had already weighed the issues of whether it would be better to stay in your marriage or move on in life without your spouse. Like all good parents, you want what is best for your kids. The good news is that children are typically resilient and adaptable to new or changing situations.
By teaching your children helpful coping skills, you can help them adjust to new routines, changes in structure and the wide array of emotions they are likely to experience as you enter a new, post-divorce lifestyle together. By tapping into available support resources in your area, you can stay one step ahead to help your kids cope as best they can.
Tell your children you love them
Children’s emotions may be fragile as they come to terms with their parents’ divorce. Never assume that your kids know you love them. They want and need to hear you say it, especially now. Also, remind them that their other parent loves them, too. Being assured of their parents’ love helps alleviate any fears your kids have about what’s going to happen to them when you divorce.
Allow them to freely express their feelings
Your kids might feel sad, worried or even, angry from time to time as they adapt to their new lifestyle. If they fear that you or your ex will get upset at them when they talk about their feelings, they are likely to keep their emotions to themselves, which isn’t always healthy.
Instead, let your kids know there is no right or wrong way to feel and that they can share their emotions with you and their other parent at any time. Also, it’s helpful to let kids know that you can provide access to other means of support, such as a school guidance counselor, a minister, or trusted adult family member or friend, if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you or their other parent.
Keep adult issues private
Chances are you and your ex might disagree about certain issues regarding your children. The less contention they witness between you, the better able to cope they might be. If you need to discuss and unpleasant topic, try to do it in private, and if you feel ill-equipped to handle the issue on your own, don’t hesitate to reach out for additional support.
Always have a Plan B in mind
In a perfect world, your co-parenting plan would run smoothly all the time. In reality, unexpected issues might arise that make it impossible for your ex to pick up the kids at a designated time or to take custody of them while you’re traveling, for instance. Rather than let such mishaps spark arguments or be blown out of proportion, try to always have a back-up plan prepared.
This shows your children you have their best interests in mind and that it’s healthy to “roll with the punches” when things don’t work out according to plan. With regard to child custody, visitation, child support or alimony issues, however, such as if your ex is not adhering to the terms of an existing court order, your plan B should always include knowing where to seek immediate legal support as needed.