Divorce is a stressful time not only for you and your spouse, but also for your children. Children respond to divorce differently depending on their personalities and ages. But, at all ages, the fact that the child has no control over this major change in their life can be a significant source of stress or fear. Here are four ways you can help yourself and your children reduce stress in order to navigate the divorce more smoothly:
Provide a “heads up” and reassurance surrounding transitions.
When children transition frequently from one parent’s home to another, they may show signs of stress. Help them prepare by reminding them in advance of transitions (a color-coded calendar can help), allowing them to carry a favorite toy or blanket between houses, and giving them time to say goodbye to you and hello to the other parent before parting ways.
Maintain consistent routines.
When meals, naps, baths, and bedtimes all occur at about the same time each day, children can feel reassured that their world is stable and someone will always take care of them, no matter which parent they are with. Work to keep their routines as consistent as possible. A routine will also provide a touchstone for you, helping to reduce your stress as well.
Create new rituals where needed.
Help a child and yourself transition to your new family structure by creating some new “just for us” rituals, like a Sunday outing to the park or stopping for ice cream after sports practice. These will help you both relax into a new routine that is “different, but not less.”
Work with an experienced attorney.
Your lawyer can help reduce many of the stressors of the divorce process, which gives you more time to relax and focus on your child. Choose an experienced attorney whose approach meshes well with your personality and needs.
You can help your child navigate divorce more smoothly by working with an experienced Long Island child support and custody lawyer. Your lawyer will answer your questions and work to settle your divorce in a way that meets your needs and those of your child. To discuss your situation, contact the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, P.C. today at (516) 227-5353.