Friday, October 2, 2009

Staying Connected With your Children After Divorce

Another of my not-strictly-legal posts but some advice that might still help negotiating problems so that they do not become a court case. I also suggest you check out the site publishing the original, Child Centered Divorce.

Five Ways to Keep Connected with Your Kids after Divorce
1. Connect through notes:

If you’re living together, slip a note in your child’s lunch box or notebook every few days. A quick joke, cartoon, reminder about a special event ahead or just a warm “I Love You!” will let them know they’re on your mind and in your heart. If you’re not spending time together, send an email note or a quick text message to convey that you’re thinking about them.

2. Connect through idle chats:

Take advantage of idle moments here and there when you’re together with your child. Driving in the car is a great time to ask questions, share your feelings, and be empathic about their comments. When you’re helping them with homework, cooking meals together or doing other chores you can strike up a conversation as well. Just be careful not to turn these communications into lectures. You’re there to listen, reflect and learn. If you judge or condemn, you’ll close the door to hearing any more.

3. Connect through bedtime routine:

It’s always wise to create a before bedtime routine with your children that integrates warm connection. Spend time reading books on changing themes, talk about your own childhood memories and challenges. Share your own insecurities and how you overcame them. It’s also beneficial to ask your child about the best part of their day or a new lesson they learned. Bedtime routines help you both unwind and appreciate one another. It also creates a security bond that most children really value.

4. Connect through a new project:

After divorce many things change in a child’s life. It’s a good opportunity to create connection through new projects that take on special meaning. Whether it’s a multi-day puzzle, a plastic model you complete together, new shelves or other decorating project in their bedroom, this shared time is a wonderful time to talk, listen to music and make a stress-free connection.

5. Connect through special dates:

Every now and then create a special outing alone with just one of your children. Take them to lunch, the zoo, a big-city shopping trip, a sports game or a wonderful movie. Children cherish alone time with you and the opportunity to catch up with one another without competition from siblings. Prepare this “date” in advance so you both have something to look forward to. End the date with a token gift as a keepsake “reminder” of your time together.

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