Here is the second part to my blog on helping your children heal after a divorce.
Don't Jump Right Back into Dating.
This is a hard one. I always tell my clients to wait at least a year before getting into a relationship. They can go out on casual dates, but nothing serious. You are not in a position to make wise decisions immediately following a divorce. The hurt is too raw, plus you need to think about what went wrong in the last relationship to make the next one last. Insecurity is high at this time and logic and reasoning in relationships are low, and this does not make for wise decisions. Model personal integrity to your child by waiting until the divorce is final to date. And don’t let your former spouse find out that you are dating from the kids. Tell them yourself so the raw reaction is not in response to information from your child.
Encourage and Support the Children Loving the Other Parent
Regards of the cause of the divorce, the children need both of you. Don’t allow your insecurity or hurt to hinder the child’s relationship with the other parent. When you support your children’s relationship with the other parent, it is a huge relief to them and will ease a lot of their anxiety. Children do not want to choose between parents and should not have too.
Never speak badly about the other parent and do not allow others to do so either. Remember what you loved about them, and focus on those qualities and not the bad parts of the relationship.
Use the Same Discipline in Each Household
Your children need and crave boundaries and those should be the same in each home. Disciple teaches children respect and ultimately how to become responsible and independent adults. A divorce does not change your responsibility towards them as a parent to prepare them for adulthood.
Remember that they are just Kids
While the children should be told the truth about the status of the relationship, conversations about finances, visitation, conflicts and family disputes need to be kept away from them. Also, never put the children in a position of messenger or peace keeper. Protect their innocence.
Divorce is hard on the entire family. Be sensitive to your children. Remember its your job to protect their tender hearts.
Pray, meditate, read, exercise. Heal your heart so that you can be healthy for your children. It does get better. If you need more help, call me, I have references for great therapists for you and the family. Co-parenting counseling is also an option if you need help communicating with the other parent. How well you transition and guide your children will impact them for a lifetime. Remember that. If you need assistance, then please call my office, telephone: (925) 384-2086. We can refer you to therapists, co-parenting counselors, and other support groups.