Stability for Children During Divorce

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Sep 17, 2007 | 0 Comments

During a divorce, parents often feel they are victimizing their children by going separate ways.  Remember that you chose to get a divorce because you believe it is the best move to preserve your emotional welfare, as well as that of your kids.  You have weighed the pros and cons of your decision and you should make sure the goal of providing the very best environment for your kids remains your focus.  You are dealing with uncomfortable emotions right now, but don't lose faith in your ability to be the best parent a child can have. You have decided to be strong for them, so don't drop the ball on a few critical components of healthy living.  You can do this! 

At a time when your self confidence may be taking a major hit, invest yourself in maintaining the structure your kids currently have at home.  Kids tend to be unnerved by dramatic changes in their daily schedules.  Though you will be dealing with custody issues, and your children will be acclimating to the concept of having two homes, maintaining stability in your child's life is still possible. Stability for your children begins with their schedule and their environment.  Children need to be able to predict when, and where they will be going, and what they will be doing. Don't abandon bed time routines, sit down dinners, after school activities, homework rules, etc.  These routines provide consistency for children, which is comforting.

Consider posting your child's schedule on the refrigerator so that he/she can take ownership of daily activities.  For young children, it may help to take photos of the various environments and people they will be visiting during the day so it is easily understood.  This can be a project you do together, and it's fun!!  Don't necessarily become obsessed with sticking to a regimen, just understand the value of consistency and stability.

Even if you have a shared custody situation, you are essentially a single parent during the times your kids are with you.  It's not uncommon to find it rather difficult to keep the house orderly, backpacks organized, etc.  Remember that you are not Superman, and you shouldn't feel poorly about yourself for having difficulty with some of these issues.  Consider hiring someone to clean your house or cut your grass.  It will probably be the best money you spend on yourself each month, and will probably significantly reduce your stress.  Purchase some baskets and bins to sort toys, clothes, and other items.  Your children will take pride in helping you, and will be excited about their newly navigable rooms.  And finally, remember that with change, comes new opportunities.  Keep your chin up and stand behind your own decisions.  Your strength will wear off on your children.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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