Choosing to divorce is never an easy decision and it can feel even more complicated when children are involved. Frequently, couples choose to prolong the relationship believing that divorce may negatively impact their children. However, there is a plethora of evidence that in many cases, divorce could actually be beneficial for children.
When Can Divorce Be Beneficial For Children?
The simple answer is that in most cases children can actually grow and experience a healthier environment when their parents choose to divorce. Although every couple handles the breakdown of a relationship differently, homes where couples are in the process of ending a marriage, are often volatile. Children could be exposed to daily arguments, passive-aggressive remarks, possible violence, and ultimately, a tense environment. In contrast, when a divorce takes place, a child typically has:
Two Homes With Calm Environments
Kids can relax at either home, knowing that they won’t have to suddenly be subjected to a negative environment. The new norm will be a calm one, reducing stress for the entire family.
It’s rare to find a human who can be happy when involved in a relationship that isn’t. Even the best parents struggle to hide their emotional turmoil from children who are typically more perceptive than adults realize. Happy parents typically have happy children.
A Deeper Child-Parent Bond
The bond between parent and child will likely deepen since any time spent together typically be without the other parent.
Improved Communication Skills
Throughout the divorce process, each parent will have to take time to talk to their child about what is happening and what they are feeling. Ultimately, this will result in better communication skills.
Improved Problem Solving
Did you know that many adults report that they believe their parents should have gotten divorced sooner? Or that adults whose parents divorced frequently are able to function better in their own adult relationships because they learned how to handle conflict by watching their parents separate?
Ultimately, in order to create a healthy post-divorce environment, parents do need to provide the necessary support to their children during this difficult time. One step that parents can take to help ease the transition is to create a co-parenting plan.
Co-Parenting 101: Tips For Positive Co-Parenting
Simply put, co-parenting is creating a partnership where both parents agree on how to approach the socialization, care, and upbringing of the children. Here are a few tips that can result in an excellent co-parenting partnership:
The Child’s Needs Always Come First
Put all hurt and anger aside - the needs of the child must always come first. Although it can be hard to separate feelings, providing a stable environment is important. Don’t be afraid to seek help from external resources like a family therapist.
Decide On Communication Styles
Sometimes it’s just not possible to have easy face-to-face talks during a divorce. If emails or texts allow for the necessary communication, then use those options. One tactic that works well for the majority of divorcing couples is to take a “business-like” tone when communicating. Keep in mind that one thing that should never take place, however, is using a child as a messenger.
Stick To A Schedule
A schedule provides stability and prevents conflicts.
Even a few minutes of self-care can improve overall wellbeing. Self-care is different for everyone. Examples include reading a book, meditation, enjoying a cup of tea, or going for a run. Over time, your family will find a new norm and will begin the healing process.