As a parent, it’s important not to think too much about yourself during a divorce. Yes, this is a big event in your life and you do need to consider your own interests when looking at the outcome. You do need to think about your own rights and obligations. But, as you do that, just remember that this really is a good time to put the kids first.
Divorce is different for children
One good thing to remember is that divorce is fundamentally different for children. They feel an incredible lack of control, despite the fact that the divorce dramatically impacts their lives. It can shake the foundation of everything that they know. It can shape their view of the world for the rest of their lives.
As an adult, perhaps you asked for the divorce. It’s not your ideal outcome, but at least you had some control. Even if your spouse asked and you never wanted a divorce, you have control over the outcome. Your child does not. Just remember how this makes it feel to them. You’ll see why putting them first is so crucial.
How can you do it?
You understand that putting your children first is important, but what can you realistically do to accomplish that goal? Here are a few steps to take:
- Try to stay positive. Remember that children really sense your attitude and energy, and that impacts how they feel.
- Make decisions that are better for them, even when they don’t line up with what you want. For instance, you’d love to have the kids live with you all of the time, but it’s better for them to see both parents, so seek a custody arrangement that makes that possible.
- Try to get along with your ex. Yes, that can be far easier to say than to do, but it massively reduces the stress on the child. You may even be able to spend important times together — like a birthday party — to put the child’s happiness first.
- Ask the children what they want. If they’re old enough, get some feedback on how they’d like things to play out. Take that into account when considering your divorce agreement.
- When possible, keep the same routines. The goal should be to limit change. Make it so that the child notices the divorce as little as possible in their day-to-day life. Keeping their pre-divorce routines is just one way that you can do it.
When you have the right attitude and the right focus, you can put the children first. You can make this easier for them. Look into all of the legal options you have to seek that goal.