Strategies for Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Relationships Post Divorce

Strategies for Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Relationships Post Divorce

In this article, we’re sharing strategies for maintaining strong parent-child relationships after a divorce.

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In the aftermath of divorce, navigating the complexities of maintaining a strong and healthy parent-child relationship becomes paramount for families. The emotional upheaval that accompanies the dissolution of a marriage can often cast a shadow on the parent-child dynamic, leaving both parents and children grappling with the challenges of adjusting to a new normal.

However, it is crucial to recognise that divorce does not have to sever the bonds between parents and their children. Instead, with the support of family law solicitors, friends and family, thoughtful strategies that can foster resilience, understanding, and open communication.

This article explores a range of effective strategies aimed at preserving and even strengthening the parent-child connection post-divorce.

Parent-child relationship challenges after a divorce

The divorce process can be unsettling and upsetting for both parents and children and, once the dust has settled, there will often be a new set of challenges to be faced. This is particularly true for the parent who no longer lives with the children as they will often experience a kind of disconnect between themselves and their kids.

This can sometimes result in an awkward atmosphere when spending time with the children as well as kids sometimes testing the boundaries with each parent.  

How to Maintain Strong Parent-Child Relationships Post Divorce

Exploring Various Forms of Communication Methods

In the modern world, divorced parents have a distinct advantage in that there are now numerous ways to keep in touch with their children. Depending on the age of the child, they may have preferred methods of communication, whether it’s through messaging, phone calls or facetime. By communicating in their preferred ways, you’re much more likely to hear from them in-between your visits or time together.

While a phone call can be great for maintaining a personal connection, social media such as Facebook and Whatsapp allows you to “check in” with your kids quickly and easily in between calls. At all times, you can make it known that it’s fine to talk or ask questions about the divorce or separation – even if those questions might sometimes be uncomfortable to answer.

While it’s important to keep up with what’s going on in your kid’s life try to avoid asking questions about what your ex-spouse is up to. Word can easily get back about your conversations and you don’t want to run the risk of putting your child in an awkward situation.

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Create Continuity Between Houses

When you only see your child for a limited time, for example, every other weekend, it can be tempting to fill each visit with treats and activities. While it’s important to make memories together, there also needs to be some normalcy.

If each visit is like a holiday, your child may begin to see you as a friend rather than a parent so, to maintain the parent-child bond, you need to ensure that rules and boundaries are in place as well as spending time together engaged in ordinary, everyday activities.

Stay Involved and Present Where it Matters

In order to retain the parent-child relationship, it’s vital that you are involved in every aspect of your child’s life. This means attending important events such as parent-teacher conferences and activities such as football matches or dance recitals.

This can, of course, be tricky, especially if you are no longer on good terms with your co-parent. However, it’s important to try to put your differences aside in order to make sure that you’re both on equal footing as parents.

Create New Routines

When a child’s parents separate, it can be an unsettling and confusing time and, for some parents, it’s tempting to try to protect the child by keeping everything the same in both households.

Although consistency and normalcy are important, your child will be aware that things have changed and will not want their parents to try to pretend otherwise. Instead, focus on making new routines for you and your child.

This could be as simple as cooking together and then watching a movie on a Sunday night or developing a new getting-ready-for-school ritual which will help your child to adapt to the new normal.

Approach the Subject of New Partners With Sensitivity

Following your divorce, there will almost certainly come a time when you’re ready to get back in the saddle and begin a new relationship. While this is natural and healthy, it can be confusing for your child who may not share your excitement.

Where possible, avoid introducing your child to a new partner until that relationship becomes established or committed. A steady stream of new partners can not only be confusing to your kid but can also add extra friction to the relationship with your former spouse who may have concerns regarding who the child may be spending time with.

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Future-proofing the parent-child relationship…

There’s no question that a divorce can be really tough on everyone involved and, with the best will in the world, children will be affected. It’s important for the child to know that while many things have changed, some have not – namely, the fact that they still have two parents who love them very much.

Maintaining the parent-child bond after your divorce will rarely be easy but with a bit of effort and by remaining mindful of your child’s feelings, it is very much possible. As mentioned in this article, communication is absolutely key – as is helping your child to adapt by keeping things on an even keel while establishing new routines and activities.


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