9. Adapt to the child’s age and changing needs.
Children 0-4 will be the most sensitive to changes in their routine, and will need frequent exposure to both parents.
Children 5-12 are still routine-dependent, but now have school and friends for support too.
They can also understand the concept of divorce, but are still vulnerable to blaming themselves and to regressive behavior. They will need the ongoing reassurance that the divorce had nothing to do with them and will not affect your love for them.
As children get into their teens, they can understand more. They may blame themselves or one parent for the divorce. They also have strong attachments to their friends, and may want to make adjustments in their visitation schedules.
Pay attention to the nuances of change that go along with children getting older. And make sure you are being emotionally present to their level of understanding.
10. Take care of yourself.
Taking good care of your physical and emotional health doesn’t run counter to putting your kids first.
If anything, it sends the message that you are capable of taking care of yourself and them. It helps you on your personal journey of healing and makes you a good example of self-triumph to your kids.
Just as importantly, it supports your verbal message that your children are just that — children. They are not your caretakers or surrogate spouses. It’s your job to take care of them, not the other way around.
The responsibility for healing a child’s heart after divorce is huge. And when you are stuck in your own pain, you may wonder if you have what it takes to help your child through this.
If you were a child of divorce, think back to what made your journey healing or more painful. If you weren’t a child of divorce, think about your influence on your children’s current well-being and future relationships.
Coming from a heart-place of awareness and love for your child can greatly inspire your choices. You and your ex may not agree on much or feel any love for one another. But at one time you had enough love between you to create a child.
And that remembrance will always be in front of you, calling you to the best of yourself on behalf of your child’s highest good.
Written by Dr. Karen Finn
Originally appeared in Dr. Karen Finn
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- 10 Reasons Why Divorced Women Are The Strongest
- 7 Important Things You Must Know About Healing after A Divorce Or Breakup
- 7 Ways To Help Your Child Cope Up With Your Divorce
- How to Cope with Feeling Depressed When Going Through A Divorce
- How I Overcame the Trauma of My Divorce and Lived to Tell the Tale