You may find the article below of interest.
Kids can be happy after divorce. Here’s how parents make it happen. USA Today, Eva Dwight, BA, HEd, ACC, CPDT, Published October 23, 2018.
No one gets married expecting to get divorced.
So when a couple decides the marriage is over, no matter how amicable they are, it’s emotional and stressful. If they are parents, one of the biggest concerns is often “How is this going to affect my child?”
Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, assures parents that, if they’re “sensitive to children’s needs, despite their own overwhelming stress, (they) are more likely to have children who bounce back.“
In other words: find a way to focus on your child’s well-being despite the trials of divorce.
Remember the ‘7 C’s of Resilience’
Ginsburg’s parenting guidelines are framed by the 7 C’s of Resilience, which are skills parents should focus on developing in their children:
When we help kids develop these skills in their everyday lives, they’ll be better able to handle especially challenging circumstances, such as divorce.
In addition to the 7 C’s, Ginsburg, founder of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication, offers a trio of tips, which can provide a big picture focus when parents feel themselves getting mired in the pain of the moment.
1. Maintain routine and consistency
Keeping constant as many things as possible will give kids a greater sense of control and confidence in their ability to handle the monumental changes brought by divorce.
For example, even if you and your ex have different parenting styles, you can establish some key expectations around behavior, chores and grades. The key is to support each other in the decisions you make in response to kids not meeting expectations. Ginsburg emphasizes that, “Consistent parental discipline has been shown to be important because it ensures clear boundaries that don’t vary widely between homes.”
Yes, you sometimes might disagree with a decision your ex makes, but unless it’s causing physical or emotional harm, you can demonstrate unity and consistency by simply not offering an opinion about it. Tell your kid something like, “Your mom/dad did what they thought was best. I’m sure you can work with them on making things right again.”
In supporting your ex, you’re actually supporting your child. By stating, with confidence, that they are capable of managing this conflict with the other parent. You can coach them through possible problem solving conversations they might want to have with their other parent, help them clarify any points they want to make or compromises they want to offer, but insist that the conversation needs to be between them and the other parent.
2. Reassure your children it’s not their fault and they are loved
It’s easy for children to blame themselves for their parents’ break up and wonder if they could have avoided this painful experience if they had somehow been “better.” Be ready for tough questions and answer them clearly and honestly. Above all, reassure your children they will remain safe and loved.
At the same time, filter your answers through a selective need-to-know lens. Children are not adults, and they’re not experienced in the nuances of adult relationships. Hearing all the negative details about what went wrong can make them feel caught in the middle and pressured to take sides. Those feelings destroy the sense of connection that it is vitally important for them to have with both parents.
When you can’t answer particular questions because the details are inappropriate for them to know, reassure them that, “Mom and Dad can’t be together anymore, but we both love you and we both want to be the best parents we can.”
3. Create shared experiences, even when you’re separated by distance
Ginsburg encourages parents to get creative in how they spend time with children, especially when long distance prevents regular in-person contact. He relates the story of a dad who was separated from his children by 2,000 miles but maintained connection by planning to watch a movie or sports game, or read a book at the same time. When they were finished, they could have long conversations about the experience.
Going out of your way to maintain a close relationship sends a very strong message to kids that they are your highest priority, which can increase their own confidence in their ability to adjust to the “new normal.”
What if your ex is an absent parent?
That only makes a tough situation even harder. It’s not fair but it puts an even bigger load on you to make sure that your child is growing those 7 C’s.
While it may be tempting to express displeasure with your ex around your children, this puts your child in the uncomfortable position of feeling like they need to defend the other parent, which means that they’re not free to express their own hurt and anger. Staying neutral as you listen to them express how they feel gives you more opportunities to teach them skills for coping with their own tough emotions.