It doesn’t matter how old your children are – divorce is a tough time for kids. It affects kids differently, and as a parent, you already know that kids express their feelings in different ways. Toddlers might become clingy or lose previously acquired skills, while teens may slam doors or become withdrawn; every child does have a reaction, though. If you feel your kids need extra help, ask your Scarborough divorce lawyer if he or she can refer you to a local therapist who’s qualified to talk to your children about divorce.
Psychologists overwhelmingly agree that keeping kids as close to their previous lifestyles can help them cope with the big changes going on right now, and schedules can provide a sense of stability. But how much is too much?
Stability Through Scheduling for Kids Affected by Divorce
Kids may not admit it, but they need to know what to expect (and when to expect it). Because their lives seem “up in the air” during divorce, particularly if they’re not sure what the final custody agreement will include, try to set up a schedule they can depend on; if they’ll be with your ex on certain days, make sure they know ahead of time and that your ex holds up his or her end of the bargain. Signing your children up for activities where they can connect with other kids, such as sports, recreational clubs and other group activities is a good idea, but be careful not to overdo it.
Make sure that you and your ex are on the same page, as well. He or she needs to know that sticking to something reliable is what’s best for your children.
Over-Scheduling: Too Much Activity, Not Enough Time
Many parents feel that keeping their kids active and busy will help them push through the stresses of divorce. However, don’t forget that kids are people, too. They need time to be alone and to process their emotions, as well.
If your kids seem extra-stressed, consider cutting back on extracurricular activities and plans. You could be making things more difficult for them and causing them to shelve their emotions because they just don’t have time to deal with them.
Disruptions to Your Kids’ Schedules
Sometimes it’s inevitable; something comes up and you need to switch times, dates and activities. That’s okay, as long as your kids know that you’re doing your best and that you’re trying to give them a semblance of normalcy throughout (and after) your divorce.