Divorce is a major change for everyone involved, but it often affects children the most. After all, children need a regular routine in order to feel safe, and studies show they even get better grades when they stick to a normal schedule. Divorce often disrupts that routine. If you want to help your children through this difficult time period, consider these ways you can keep their routine largely the same.
One way to keep a child’s routine the same is to ensure he or she has a regular bedtime routine. This means the child goes to bed at about the same time every night, and early enough to ensure sufficient sleep. Consider adding a bedtime story, bath or other good habits to their nightly routine. This can help signal to their brain that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. Avoid simply handing them a tablet or putting on a movie for them to fall asleep to every night, as this can get them in the habit of staying up late to watch.
School is a safe place for children because they have a set schedule that lets them know what to expect every day. But that shouldn’t stop at school. You can make it possible for your children to know they are coming home to a regular routine each day by having them do their homework at about the same time daily. Set up an area where they can study and complete any homework in a quiet atmosphere, and make sure you’re around to provide guidance. Though you shouldn’t be doing their homework for them, you should be reviewing it with them and giving them study tips, since students are most successful when their parents are involved in their education.
Children can’t control the divorce process, but they can control some aspects of their lives, such as self-care. This includes brushing their teeth, brushing their hair and bathing. You should make sure they keep up with this routine daily so they retain a sense of normalcy during the divorce. If they had chores to do before the divorce, such as cleaning their room and making their bed, make sure they continue doing these tasks after the divorce, too.
Children need to know what to expect when they break the rules, which is why you should ensure you stick to the same discipline as you did before the divorce. Try to stay on the same page as the other parent, as well. Otherwise, you’ll be sending mixed signals to your children, and they’ll think they can get away with more at one parent’s house than the other’s. This may require effective communication with your former spouse, but the benefit of well-behaved children who know what to expect will be worth it.
Divorce can be hard on everyone in the family, but with a little effort, you can help your children through this process. It will be easier when you stick to the same routine as much as possible so your children end up getting the stability and reassurance they need during this time. Meanwhile, make sure you have a compassionate divorce lawyer with experience in all aspects of family law. If you still need a lawyer, contact the Edgar & Dow today to schedule your free consultation.
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