Here are some pieces of wisdom that can help you control your children’s behavior and establish a stable and loving single-parent household and why reading to your children may help them cope with divorce as well.
- Try regular family meetings. Communication is absolutely key at all points in child rearing, but it is nothing less than vital during and after a divorce. Make sure that your rules are clear and that your children’s input is heard—both goals can be achieved during regular family meetings. These meetings can also add a sense of stability and security to your children’s life, which is very important after a split.
- Remember that children mirror behavior. Behaving well yourself may be even more important than establishing rules regarding your children’s behavior. Know that your kids are watching you closely and will take lessons from what they see. Be especially careful about how you act toward your ex during and after your divorce.
- Have rules even on the weekend. It can be especially difficult to establish house rules and consistent discipline if you only see your children on the weekends, during school vacations, or during holidays. However, just because your kids visit during traditionally more lax periods, it is still important to lay down the law and set clear boundaries. It can be tempting to be the “fun” parent, but the long-term consequences aren’t worth it.
How Books Can Help Your Child Process Your Divorce
Books can help those who are processing their parents’ divorce. Why is reading books about divorce good for your kids, no matter what their age?
Books can make tough subjects easier to explain. In many cases, parents simply don’t have the knowledge or tools to explain to their children exactly why a divorce happened or how their family can heal after a divorce. Books about divorce—many of which are written by professional therapists—can help both parents and kids get a grasp of what is happening.
- Books make kids feel less alone. A divorce can be isolating for children, and they can feel like no one else has ever experienced what they are going through. A book can show them that their experience is common and that many kids can identify with how they are feeling.
- Books are filled with tools for coping. Many books for teens include tons of great activities, strategies, and tools for processing their feelings, connecting with friends, and keeping healthy relationships with family.
- Books encourage communication. Some kids will shut down communication during a divorce. Books are one way to get the conversation started again. After reading a book about divorce with your child, for example, you can ask them how they felt about the book instead of how they feel about your divorce.
- You can return to books again and again. Young children especially can benefit from reading a picture book about divorce several times a week, and they may be comforted by some of the simple messages: you are loved by both of your parents, the divorce is not your fault, you still have a family.
If you are navigating the issues of divorce and child custody in Washington State, make certain you have the legal representation you need to get fair results. To speak with a Seattle child custody attorney, call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today: 425-460-0550.