When you told your children you were getting divorced, you might have noticed several types of reactions, depending on the ages and individual personalities of your kids. Just as adults experience a wide range of emotion in such circumstances, children also may have ups and downs, perhaps feeling sad one moment, then angry or scared the next.
Some Colorado parents worry about their children’s ability to cope with divorce and move on in life. If you build a strong support network from the start, chances are your kids will be okay. It’s helpful, however, to think ahead and prepare yourself in case certain issues arise.
The parent versus parent tactic
Your children may try to push the envelope a bit as they adapt to their new lifestyle. Especially if you have shared custody, don’t be surprised if one or several of your kids tries to play you against your ex to get what they want. Maybe you send your kids to bed earlier than their other parent does, or they get more screen time at your co-parent’s house.
If your child tells you that he or she can do a certain thing at your ex’s house, don’t let it ruffle your feathers. Instead, you might try calmly informing your son or daughter that he or she will be able to do whatever it is when staying there again, but in your house, the rules are different.
Don’t diss your co-parent in front of your kids
Kids often feel confused about where their loyalties should lie after a divorce. If they hear you talking down about your ex all the time, it might intensify their feelings of doubt and anxiety. You may not always agree with your ex, but the more you work together as a team and agree to speak positively about each other, the better off your children might be in the long run.
Parents should avoid letting kids run amok
It’s understandable you want to go easy on your kids after divorce. After all, you recognize that your decision to end your relationship with their other parent has disrupted their lives. However, there’s definitely a risk involved in overcompensating children. Some Colorado parents make the mistake of avoiding discipline and accountability because they don’t want to upset their children further.
Studies show that children fare best in divorce when they maintain a sense of structure, routine and normalcy in their daily lives. If there are legal issues impeding your ability to parent the way you see fit, it’s a good idea to try to resolve them as swiftly and fairly as possible.