Winning custody can feel like a considerable achievement. While it can’t make up for the trauma of divorce proceedings, it can seem like the first positive step in your new life. Sadly, custody itself isn’t always the end of the battle. Often, there are hurdles to face before you become a happy family again. As hard as your separation was on you, you can bet it was tougher on them. For that reason and more, they might not settle into their new life with you as easily as you hoped.
That can be difficult, especially if you’re keen to get back to some level of normality. Don’t be surprised, though, if your kids take a while to get back to their old selves. In the majority of cases, children are unable to settle post-divorce unless…
Lives with You Unless…Your Ex-Partner is Still in their Lives
Though you have custody, it’s crucial that you don’t keep your kids from their Mom. They’ve already lost the family unit as they knew, so reduce further disruption as much as you can. If they lose contact with one parent, you could double or triple the time it takes them to settle again. That’s why it’s always worth staying in contact with your ex-partner. During the divorce itself, it’s even worth working with professionals on a collaborative divorce rather than ripping each other apart in a courtroom. That way, you’ll be able to stay on good enough terms to arrange meeting schedules and even keep going for family days out. Something as simple as that can work wonders for helping your children to heal.
You Give Them Time to Heal
When you win custody, you may feel the urge to become the ideal dad. You might want to engage your kids in activities all the time, and take them on a constant merry-go-round of days out. You may even convince yourself that this will cheer them up. But, it’s more likely to have the opposite effect. Remember that your kids need time to process their new situation. If you’re continually piling on the presents and fun stuff, you won’t give them that time. That, in turn, could see them taking much longer to process and settle into this new situation.
Lives with You Unless…You Provide Them with Space of Their Own
Depending on how your divorce ended, you may face moving into somewhere smaller than your family home. If this is the case, make sure you remember how crucial it is for kids to have their own space. Even if you have to sleep on the sofa so that your children each have their private rooms, it’s a sacrifice you need to make. In the meantime, you could set about converting your attic or extending to make more room physically. Children and teens do most of their working out when they’re alone in the safety of their bedrooms. There’s no way, then, that the kids in your life will feel settled unless they have a space which they can call theirs.
Contributed post. Feature image via Unsplash.