The period of transition that comes with a divorce is difficult for the adults involved, but it is often even more complicated for the children. They usually have a basic understanding about what happened, and they often have a considerable concern about what’s going to happen.
As a parent, your primary concern during child custody must be keeping the kids protected and ensuring they are adjusting as well as possible to the changes. You have to consider their best interests throughout this process.
Your children need to feel safe. They must know that you and the other parent are going to be there for them even though you don’t live with them full time. One of the best ways you can do this is to show them love and give them the support that they need. If you notice any signs that they are struggling, you can sit down with them and find out what you can do to help them through it. You and your ex might have to work as a team to present a united front before the children.
Children thrive on consistency, so you must ensure that they are getting this. Setting rules and upholding them is important. Sometimes, parents tend to relax the rules while they give the children the time to adjust, but this usually works against the parents. Instead, set the standards right away and be understanding as the kids learn how to abide by the rules. You and your co-parent might be able to set some major rules and schedule components as a team so they are the same in both homes.
Your children need to be able to develop and grow relationships with both parents, as well as extended family members. The adults who are involved with the children should encourage this at all times. This might involve encouraging communication and visits. You can also ask the children to discuss their visits with you, but make sure that you aren’t prying with the wrong intentions, such as trying to spy on your ex.
Your parenting plan is a main component of the arrangement you have with your ex regarding the children. It should be realistic and have your children’s needs accounted for in each decision. You can have it as detailed or flexible as necessary, but make sure that you and your ex both understand the specifics of the agreement.