Going through a divorce can be tough, expensive and also very emotional. Not just for you, but the people closest to you will also feel the effects such as your wife, children and friends. Proceeding with divorce can make you feel alone and wondering how you arrived there in the first place. A key thing to focus on is that once the divorce is finalised and the child arrangements have been made you will have a new life to look forward to. A new beginning with your children! Divorce Negotiator is here to help you look positively at the current situation and help you be a great divorced dad. It won’t be easy, mistakes will be made but it’s about creating a positive environment for you and your children.
Divorce Fact of the Day – There are more than 120,000 divorces taking place each year in England and Wales.
Top Tip of the day for Divorced Dads – Expect the unexpected, your children come first all the time. Make sure they know the divorce was not their fault and that you are a team and you love them.
To continue being a great dad following divorce you need to understand that you will be solely responsible for the children when they are in your care. You will need to consider the children’s situation following divorce, two homes, two sets of rules and two different surroundings.
You will need to educate yourself on some of the responsibilities you may not of carried out whilst married such as cooking, cleaning and helping with homework. Communication is key, listen and talk to the children. Very often they handle the divorce situation differently due to age, gender and the reason for divorce etc.
You will need to effectively discipline the children when required as well as having fun and rewarding them for success. Being a great divorced dad is making the children feel secure and safe when with you.
Divorce Fact of the Day – The average age at divorce was 45 for Men and 42 for women in 2012.
As stated previously, following divorce, children will have 2 homes. One with you and one with their mother. It is crucial that children have a sense of belonging while in your home. This is regardless of the amount of time they spend there. It’s about making children feel safe, secure and letting them know it’s their home too.
Following divorce you may find yourself living in a smaller home than before. Remember it’s important that children have an area that is their space within any home. Depending on the age of your children, they could come and see potential new homes with you to help them feel involved.
Maintain a routine
If possible, try to maintain a similar post-divorce routine as the pre-divorce one. This will enable a smoother transition both for them and you. Routine will help run an effective household, let children know what the boundaries and rules are and what behaviour you expect.
Communicating with your children is vital, before, during and post-divorce. Talk to them about any thoughts and feelings they may have. It is crucial to do this as children find the divorce process difficult to understand.
Announcing the divorce can be tough so talk openly and honestly. They may have questions so take the time to listen and discuss. Don’t speak negatively about the divorce in front of the children. It is important they know it’s not their fault and that they are loved.
Ask open questions about their day, activities they’ve enjoyed and over time it will get easier. Set aside time to talk to your children, they will respond positively to the attention you pay them. Showing an interest in their lives will lead them to being more open and honest with you.
Once the divorce is completed, communication with the children’s mother will need a professional approach. Avoid childish behaviour and remember you as parents are bringing up the same children separately.
Tip of the Day – Meal times are great for fun family discussions, even walks to the shops or to school are great conversation opportunities.
Discipline is important
Discipline after the divorce is important. It may be hard as time spent with the children may be limited and precious. You could be tempted to let certain behaviour slide. This will only have a negative effect on your relationship with the children. It may possibly lead to a lack of respect for you and problems with their mother.
It is important to enjoy your time with the children. They need to understand that bad behaviour will not go unpunished. Their mother and you will need to have the same discipline plan so there is no confusion for the children.
No discipline can lead to children misbehaving due no boundaries or rules being in place for them to adhere to. The children need to see you as their loving father as well as an authority figure who they respect and listen to. Prior to the divorce you instilled punishment for bad behaviour, this needs to continue.
Don’t forget to recognise good behaviour. Offer the children a reward to prevent the bad behaviour especially if you know there are certain instances that may arise.
Tip of the day – Be consistent with discipline and methods of both punishment and reward you use. Discuss this with their mother so it’s consistent in both homes.
Remember there is support available for you, never feel alone and
communicate to those around you.