Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but your children are likely to experience the worst of it. It is crucial to bring stability to this new phase of their lives.
Consistency and routines help children feel safe and in control, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You and your co-parent can try these tips to create stability in both households.
Establish rules, consequences and rewards
It is important that children learn to follow the same rules in both households and that you have the same rewards and consequences. Doing so helps young people to understand what you expect of them in any given situation. You should also respect any disciplinary decisions your co-parent makes. For example, if your former partner restricts phone privileges, you should honor those restrictions in your home.
Stick to a schedule
The Minnesota Judicial Branch recommends that parents create consistency by following the same routine and schedule in both households. This includes things such as when children wake up, when your family eats dinner and when kids go to bed. You will also want to avoid any deviations from the agreed parenting time schedule.
Talk with your co-parent about future milestones
Communication with a former partner can be difficult, but if possible, you and your co-parent should try to broadly determine how you want to handle future milestones in your children’s lives. Discuss situations such as dating, driving and college. Establish who and how you will talk about sensitive subjects, such as puberty, with your kids.
Consistency is essential for helping young people cope with their changing lives, and you will likely find that you benefit from the increased stability as well.