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Sprouts, Divorce and Chaos! Is it Manageable?

As a recently divorced mom, I am aware that there has been change in my children’s behavior post-divorce. As much as you try to shield them from all of the drama and chaos, it is impossible to mask them from all disagreement and keep everything consistent prior to divorce. It is said by experts that the trauma a child from a divorced family is usually experienced  long before there is the actual divorce. The children will experience the parental disagreements, anger and watch the arguments and discontent of their parents of each other worsen throughout the divorce process. This trauma can often last for many years after the divorce is final.  This was evident when I shared to my son that his mommy and daddy would not be married anymore. He seemed pleased and wanted me to be happy because he said we argued all of the time anyway.

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According to experts, divorce seems to hit children the hardest. Everything in their world seems to be changing. One parent is leaving the home. In some cases, the custodial parent is also relocating and the child is leaving the only home he or she has known. Children can also blame themselves for the divorce, especially if they overhear the parents arguing over something the child has done around the time of the divorce. However, there are ways to lessen the impact and make your child feel more secure during the changes. According to experts below are steps to lessen the burden:

  1. Maintain consistency in a child’s schedule: A sense of order is important. Routine is key. Consistency in your sprout’s wake-up time, play dates and bedtime are important. Try to do the same things at the same times that were done before.

  2. Ensure the child can access all of their favorites, at both homes: Let your sprout decide what they want to leave and take at each home so they can have access to all of their well-loved items. This will make the transition post divorce more comfortable. For my daughter, she must have her blankie in tow. My son needs some type of stimulant, whether it is a ball, video game player or  board game with him at both homes.

  3. If ample space, designate a room for the child at the non-custodial parent’s house as well: Having a place set aside just for them makes children feel welcome when they travel between homes for visitation. If you are the non – custodial parent it is important that you show your child they have a special place in your home.

  4. Keep your problems to yourself: Many children mine included at times get pulled into the turmoil of the parents. Sometimes inadvertently and intentionally adult issues are shared when they should not.  Save your discussion of your issues with a friend or counselor. Don’t force your child to have to deal with your problems, they have enough to cope with. Albeit, this could be tough especially when they are caught in the cross winds of one of your routine disagreements. However, do whatever needs to be done to keep your conflict with your ex out of your child’s life.

  5. Continue to provide love, attention, and discipline: Us as parents may feel guilty because the child is upset during a divorce, and many times may lavish gifts or give special privileges the child would not normally receive. There is a sense of security in having consistent rules, including consequences of negative behavior. Continually remind your children that they are loved and will always be loved by both parents. Continue to remind them that divorce is not their fault and was caused by grown-up issues. 

  6. Make sure the child has access to both parents: Your sprouts should know how to reach the non-custodial parent when they need reassurance or feel lonely. Make sure you have open dialogue and spend quality time with your children regularly. 

What have been effective ways you managed through chaos and divorce with your sprouts?

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5 thoughts on “Sprouts, Divorce and Chaos! Is it Manageable?”

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