[F]ew new situations work from the start; that new job, a move, even the joy of buying a longed-for car can temporarily “throw us off our game.” For a while. But we eventually work out the rough spots, develop a routine, and ultimately get comfortable in our new surroundings.
Beyond Divorce, Allow Time for Your Family to Adjust
It’s the same with co-parenting. Through the past weeks or months, you’ve been through so much trauma, part of you might be ecstatic at getting the divorce behind you, moving, losing friends, making new ones; putting yourself back out on the “market.” The most difficult is probably how your relationship to your children has changed. Like the other situations, you need time to adjust.
And not just you, but the entire family will need time to get comfortable with the new arrangement. And you will need to keep the doors open with your children, maybe more than you ever have before. And like every other part of the adjustment period, it won’t be easy.
Make sure they understand that everyone is going through the same transition period, whatever you want to call it. And if you maintain that attitude, and keep using that phrase whenever a conflict arises, let the children know that the rough spots are temporary, that you and the child’s mother will work out the differences and conflicts that have upended the child’s life.
Beyond Divorce, Stay Open to Change
New lines of communication and just dealing with each family member will change, some of it better, some worse, but it will work out. Just make sure the child understands that everyone is struggling, and you will for a while. More changes will take place, some will work some won’t. Make sure to encourage the child to speak up when something appears to be working when for them anyway, it isn’t.
Keep adjusting, maintain the lines of communication, and recognize that it’s all painful, but necessary. It will be uncomfortable for a while, but everything will work out.
What advice would you give for adjusting into co-parenting? What was your hardest adjustment after the divorce?
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