When a couple decides to divorce, one of the most important early decisions should be to prioritize your children throughout the divorce process. This starts with focusing on quality time with your children. A parent’s time with their children may be limited, but the way to help the children through the divorce is to ensure that your time together is quality time. For instance, turn off social media both for parents and kids, go outside, engage in your children’s interests, and find new things to do together.
I find that a lot of clients, when there is a separation, find that their relationship with their children can become even closer if they focus on quality time together. I think it is just staying in the moment, being present, turning off the distractions, and reprioritizing other responsibilities such as work or your own social activities to times when you don’t have the kids. That way, when you do have the kids, you can really focus on them.
The next part is to figure out what shared activities you can do together. It doesn’t have to be things like shopping or Disneyland. It could be basic things that require engagement; playing sports with your kids, going on walks, roller skating, playing board games, going to a movie, out for dinner, or cooking with your kids. Basically, activities that your kids are into, or even new activities, can help with the bonding.
I think it’s important to focus time on your children, because the children are going to need that attention. They are also going through a lot of transitions with the divorce. Increasing the closeness between you and your kids by staying focused on them when you are together will ease the transition process.
The Divorce Process You Choose Helps to Prioritize Your Children
The Collaborative Divorce and Mediation processes put the needs of your children at the forefront in your divorce. Part of the process is figuring out as a couple how time with your children will be divided. The children’s time is going to be shared between you and your soon-to-be ex. It is important to remember that you are both their parents and as their parents you will be working together to raise them. Through collaborative law or mediation, the focus is going to be on the children, communication, and conflict reduction, which improves the quality of the relationship of the whole family.