It can be hard to find new routines for kids post-divorce, but it’s important to help them get back to their normal lives after a split.
Just 53% of divorcees are happy, according to First Things First. If you’re finding it difficult to raise a smile after your divorce, your kids are likely to feel the same way. The key to keeping children happy after a divorce is to keep a good routine. But, first off, they’ve got to develop and settle into your new way of living.
How to Develop New Routines for Kids Post-Divorce
Research shows that children with divorced parents should spend at least 35% of their time with each parent. This often means that children spend every other weekend with each parent, plus various weekdays away. When your child returns to your care from their other parent’s house, make sure you have new routines in place so your child knows what to expect. This can be both fun and normal things. Every Friday night with you could be takeout pizza night or movie night. More practical routines to put into place can be things like ensuring your kids do their homework as soon as they get home or clean up their room every Wednesday after school.
Keep things as normal as possible
Up to 25% of parents with custody relocate to a new area within two years of getting divorced, according to the Financial Planning Association. You may find your child doesn’t like the idea of moving and they act up because of it. This is a normal response, but you can make your child’s home move easier by sticking to their normal routine as much as possible. This means keeping to the same mealtimes and bedtimes. It’s also important that you enroll your child in a new school quickly. Attending school on a daily basis is a great way to keep your child’s mind occupied and keep them in a routine that they’re used to.
Communicate with your ex
After a divorce, it’s common for communication between ex-partners to break down. However, if you’re co-parenting, it’s essential that you stay in regular contact with your child’s other parent and agree on the way you’ll bring your child up together. You both need to agree to help with homework and to discipline any unwanted behavior in a similar way. For example, if one parent disciplines by removing the child’s phone while the other opts to send the child to their room, the child is going to get mixed messages. This will leave them confused and unsure of who they are and the seriousness of what they’ve done. Having the same bedtime is particularly essential. Research shows a strong link between lack of sleep and academic performance. One study concluded that similar bed and sleep time throughout the week results in better grades at school.
Divorce is a difficult time for everyone, including children. While creating and maintaining new routines for kids post-divorce may feel like the last thing on your mind during this time, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your child’s happiness.