Going through a divorce can be a messy and painful process for both parties, but even the most well-intentioned parents can let their emotions get the better of them at times and forget to protect their child from the pain, confusion, and stress of a divorce.
The marital assets will be fairly divided between spouses during a divorce, but let’s not forget that your most valuable asset is your child. Regardless of the disputes, you have over your finances and property, never forget that your child is your most important asset.
At a time when both parties will understandably be overwhelmed with fear and anxiety about their future, it is essential to prioritize the needs of your child. However, if there is one thing that both of you can agree on is the love you have for your child.
Give joint reassurance
It is essential that your child doesn’t feel at fault for your divorce, so it will help if both of you can reassure your child that you will still be a loving family, but this will be under two roofs instead of one.
No matter which one of you will become your child’s primary parent, make sure that your child knows that their other parent isn’t going to disappear from their lives, never to be seen again.
It can really help your child adjust to your divorce if they feel comfortable and wanted in both homes. Giving them their own bedroom in your ex-partner’s new place and letting them choose how it is decorated will provide them with a sense of ownership.
Let them pick out their own bedding, curtains, and soft furnishings, as this will make the space feel like their own when they stop over rather than simply feeling like they are sleeping in a spare room.
Lean on your friends for support, not your child
We all know how unhealthy it is to bottle up our feelings, especially when our emotions can feel so raw during a divorce. However, while you used to have your partner there to lean on and unburden your mind, your child should never be seen as a substitute.
You may want to vent your anger or resentment for the divorce or complain about disagreements over your finances and property settlements. Still, these emotional outpourings can be very harmful to your child.
Your child is busy growing up and learning to make sense of the world, so the last thing you should do is overwhelm them with your emotional burdens. Let your child focus on being a kid. Turn to another adult for the support you need, whether that be a sibling, best friend or professional therapist.
Strengthen your relationships
Whether you or your partner has the primary custody of your child, you both need to adjust to your new life as a single mother or single father. It can help to look at yourselves as co-parents even if one of you has the greater responsibility for the care of your child and the other is responsible for providing the financial support for your child as they grow up.
Your child may either put on a brave face to look like they are coping well with your divorce to spare your feelings, or they may revert to acting out with temper tantrums and bad behavior. It will help if both you and your ex-partner can work together as a team to help your child adjust to their new life and make them feel equally loved in both of their homes.
Now is the time to work on strengthening your relationship with your child as well as your ex-partner. Just because you are no longer married doesn’t mean you cannot maintain a solid and supportive relationship with each other and your child.