If your children were upset when you told them you were getting divorced, it was not an uncommon reaction. Many kids experience a wide range of emotion upon learning that their parents are ending their marriages. As a non-custodial parent, you may be wondering how to make the most of the time you'll have with your kids this summer. You want them to know your divorce was not their fault and that you're there to support them as they adapt to their new lifestyle.
Like most good parents in Florida, you have their best interests in mind. Since you work full-time (and can't afford to lose hours, especially since you'll now be paying child support) you may not get as much summer time with your kids as you'd like. That doesn't necessarily have to mean you can't make new, happy memories together, however. By thinking ahead and speaking with other parents who have gone through divorce, you can help your kids come to terms with the situation and enjoy your summer visits together.
Making memories and overcoming obstacles
It may not be total smooth sailing as you navigate your first post-divorce summer with your children. Most parents who divorce encounter various types of challenges as they implement their new co-parenting plans. The following ideas may be useful as you seek a "new normal" with your kids:
- Many say patience is a virtue. This may definitely be true when it comes to your post-divorce parent/child relationship. Things will be different and emotions may run high. As the adult in the situation, if you remain calm and try to be understanding, your kids are likely to do the same.
- Communication is a key to success. Not only is it important for you to discuss family issues with your kids, it's also critical that you allow them to keep the lines of communication with their other parent open at all times, especially if you go on summer vacation together.
- Not every moment requires planning. You may have court orders that require certain actions at certain times; however, your life-changes do not mean you can't be fun and spontaneous with your kids. Children generally like surprises and whisking them off to a movie or taking them on an unplanned trip to the lake might help raise their spirits as they cope with your divorce.
- It's tempting to become a bit reclusive after divorce, especially if some of your extended family members disagree with your decision. However, children tend to fare best when they maintain healthy, active relationships with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Summer time is a perfect time to include your family in your visits with your kids.
Post-divorce legal problems can threaten summer fun. It's always best to keep such issues away from your kids as much as possible. They don't need to hear you bashing your ex as it may cause stress and mixed emotions on their part. You also don't have to sit back and allow someone to impede your parent/child relationships. There are people who can help you protect your rights. Your divorce will change your life for sure but it doesn't have to ruin your summer visits with your kids.