Coping After a Divorce: Happy Parents, Happy Kids
The key to any major life change – including a divorce – is taking care of yourself. As an experienced divorce lawyer, I can vouch for the fact that when you hold yourself to a high standard, your life will improve and your children will follow suit.
Indeed, divorce has earned a bad rap. People often think of the ending of a marriage as a horrible failure – when in fact it can actually be the best result for all parties involved! Perhaps because of outdated ideas and stigmas surrounding divorce, many people still expect divorcing spouses to be angry and bitter. And they may even expect minor children to be adversely affected by the divorce.
But the fact is, divorce can help you build a new life that is happier, more secure and – yes – even better for your children!
In my several years as a divorce attorney I have seen many women, men and children come out of their divorces only to move onto better lives. In this article, I am including a few things that most “good” divorces have in common- which can lead to a happier life for you and your children.
Treat Your Ex with Respect after a Divorce
Start by remembering that children take their cues from the adults around them – especially their parents. So, what you do and say – including how you treat your ex-spouse – matters a lot.
Even if there is “bad blood” between you and your ex-spouse, recognize that they are your child’s parent – and they deserve respect for that reason alone. This will keep your child from feeling like they are “in the middle”. It will also help them develop a positive relation with their other parent – which psychologists agree is important for happy and secure development.
Keep a Positive Attitude after a Divorce
Many things can suddenly change in a child’s life during a divorce: living arrangements & routines are adjusted. Their school and even the family’s financial stability can change. The way you go about handling things will give your children cues as to how they should process this upheaval. So when you speak to your children, highlight the positives, not the negatives.
Look forward to what lies ahead for you – and for them – not what is in the past. Build your new life with optimism, and emphasize your new opportunities, rather than focusing on what you have lost.
Take Care of YOURSELF after a Divorce
Self-care is a big component of making a positive change in your life. Try to take a little bit of time every day just for YOU: meditate, pray, walk outdoors, garden, do yoga, workout – or even watch a good movie or take a long bath after the kids are in bed.
When you are rested and happy, you will be a better parent. You will be less stressed, more patient, and slower to anger. And you will also have more energy to spend with your kids.
And, if you are happy, your children will be more likely to be happy. Remember – they take their cues from you! Additionally, if you are happy they will be less likely to spend their time worrying about you – or being concerned that somehow the divorce and your unhappiness is their fault.
Oakland County Divorce Attorney
As an Oakland County divorce attorney, I have seen every type of divorce situation. And I realize that it is never easy to make a big life change like this – for anyone, at any age.
But ultimately, you CAN build a life that leads you and your children to happiness. Loving yourself, accepting where you are in life, and positively focusing on what you need to do next, is the best way to embrace your situation. When you follow this path, your children’s happiness will also follow.
Remember that YOU are the source of your happiness – and only you can make a difference in your perspective!