Kids don’t always like divorce, especially when it has always seemed like their parents got along. In cases where you and the other parent have worked hard to keep your arguments and disputes away from the eyes and ears of your child, it may be that your child had no idea that you would ever be apart.
Keeping the peace can be tough when your child throws tantrums or demands answers that you don’t have for them. There are some good tips that can help you help them adjust, though. Here are three things you can do to reduce conflict and help your child adjust.
- Discuss shared custody as a gift
Depending on your child’s age, it’s possible that you could sit down with them and explain how sharing custody isn’t always normal in divorce. Express that having two parents who get along and what want what’s best for them is a gift, not a problem. Seeing the situation from a different angle can help some children, especially teens, start to adapt to the new normal.
- Include your child in custody decisions
Another option is to include your child in custody decisions, such as where they live most of the time or if they want to move to a new home in a new school district or remain where they are. This gives them more control, which may reduce their disdain for your divorce.
- Make time for your child together and while apart
Finally, you and your ex-spouse should discuss if there are still things you can do together with your children, such as attending sporting events or school concerts, as well as what you can do individually to make your child feel heard, wanted and loved. While divorce does end living together, it doesn’t mean that you can’t both still be present in your child’s life.
These are a few ideas for helping your child adapt and for reducing conflicts that they may cause because of disliking these new arrangements. Talk to your child, include them in decisions when possible and make more time for them, so they still feel loved and heard.