Almost half of all first marriages end in divorce and two-thirds of those involve children, leading many to question what the effects will be on all of those kids.
According to the National Association of School Psychologists, about 80 percent the of children of divorced parents go on to lead a productive, well-adjusted lives as adults. That still leaves 20 percent who may suffer from a variety of psychological or social difficulties.
Family therapist Isolina Ricci, PhD., feels children who are allowed to love both of their parents without loyalty conflicts, in addition to having access to both without the fear of losing one or the other, are likely better equipped to cope with the divorce and its aftermath.
Ideally, she says, “learning to get along with your ex may be one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.”
One of the issues you may have had as a married couple is communication, so how do you communicate after the divorce? The same issues you had before are likely to creep up once again.
By following these tips, you can help make a difficult situation easier on the kids as well as yourself.
In order to prevent small problems from growing into major issues, communication is essential. Divorce and parenting coach Rosalind Sedacca advises creating a calendar that lists who is responsible for what on each day, week or month.
One way to do this without having to talk constantly is to consider investing in a cloud-based program or document sharing service that will allow both parents to access files like sports season schedules and calendars, as well as important documents like immunization records and birth certificates.
LiveDrive is ranked as one of the top cloud storage systems, and according to a LiveDrive review, it offers seamless file transfers to Flickr and Facebook as well as synchronized filing across multiple devices. This allows both parents the ability to share photos and videos, as well as the ability to access necessary information on all of their high tech gadgets.
Agree on consistent household rules
Children grow up healthier and happier if they have routine and structure. It’s important to have a discussion and come to an agreement on rules and behavioral guidelines that are to be enforced at both households.
Rules for homework, bed time, and chores should all be consistent. According to Psychology Today, research has shown that children who grow up with parents who have a unified approach experience greater well-being.
Don’t ask children to be the messenger
Marriage and family therapist Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., advises parents to never ask their child to carry a message to the other parent or to be responsible for setting up any type of arrangements, including transportation. These matters should always be taken care of by the adults, as they are adult matters.
Don’t expose your children to parenting conflicts
Your child should never be involved in issues that will inevitably arise with co-parenting. Exposing a child to conflicts by putting them in the middle of what should be an adult issue has been found to promote insecure feelings in children which may result in problems with self-esteem and other issues.
This includes never talking disrespectfully about your ex — you should discourage the kids from doing so as well.