For parents, one of the most emotionally-difficult aspects of contemplating a divorce is anticipating the effects that the divorce will have on their children. This is an issue that comes into particular focus during after the holidays die down, commonly known as the “February Blues”
As with all aspects of getting divorced, when it comes to handling the February Blues, it is important to plan ahead. Here are seven tips that can help parents prepare:
1. Understand Your Custody Arrangement
As a practical matter, one of the first considerations is understanding the terms of your custody arrangement. Are you and your former spouse alternating weekends? Violating the terms of a custody arrangement can have serious consequences, and it is important not to make mistakes that could have legal implications.
2. Create New Traditions
If you stick to your old traditions, just without your former spouse, this may simply serve as a reminder to your children that things are not as they used to be. To avoid the weighty feeling of an elephant in the room, it can be helpful to try something new. Create new traditions not with a focus on simply distracting your children from their thoughts, but with a focus on finding new ways to create lasting memories.
3. Put Together a Schedule
When activities come to a lull, this can often bring up memories of the past as well. To avoid uncomfortable situations that can put a damper on the day, put together a full schedule of activities that will keep you and your children living in the moment. From meals to games, take the time to build a schedule in advance that will fill your day.
4. Talk to Your Children
For older children in particular, simply avoiding the issue will not always be enough. So talk to your children and let them know that you understand what they are going through.
5. Reach out to Friends and Family
One way to break from tradition is to spend time with different friends and family members. If you are worried about “interfering”, keep in mind that he or she most likely would be more than happy to spend time with you and your children. Reach out early and make travel arrangements in advance to avoid unnecessary stress.
6. Don’t Forget about Yourself
Post-divorce winters are not just hard on the children, they are hard on the parents as well. Going through a divorce is a major life event, and it is completely normal to face unfamiliar emotions when things are different as a result of your divorce. Use your social network for support, seek professional help if necessary, and focus on finding constructive ways to cope with uncertainty that is inherent in restarting your single life.
7. Avoid Negativity
Finally, even if you and your former spouse remain at odds after your divorce, try not to let any negativity creep in. Bashing your former spouse is not going to make your children’s day brighter. Instead, try to focus on highlighting the positives.
Divorce Lawyers in North County, CA
At the Law Office of Renkin & Associates, we provide experienced divorce representation for spouses in North County, CA. If you would like to speak with an attorney about what to expect before, during, and after your divorce, please feel free to inquire online or call 619-299-7100 today.