Divorce is not for the faint at heart. It can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved, and most parents agree that putting your kids first is the hardest part. It’s not hard because you don’t want to; it’s hard because you’re not sure how best to do that. Author Honoree Corder shared with HuffPost the three things kids want most when their parents divorce. If you can remember these three things, it should be much easier to know how to make sure the divorce process is as painless as possible for your children.
1. They want you to be happy. A parent that isn’t happy, not matter what type of mood it is, makes an unhappy kid. Children feel most secure and content when their parents are content. So if you’re not happy, it’s not just hurting yourself. Focus on self-improvement for your kids’ sake.
2. Attention. It’s a word typically with a negative association, but it is true that kids of most ages simply want our time and attention, even when they won’t admit it. Do what they want to do, set a weekly time, or figure out what you can do together. Take every step necessary to spend time with them.
3. Get along with your ex. Once again, you may think this is/isn’t for your benefit… but it’s actually for your kids’ benefit. He might no longer be your spouse, but he’s still their dad. And no one wants to see their parents fight. Be friendly when it isn’t easy; be nice when she doesn’t deserve it. Take baby steps to building a mutually respectful relationship. Your kids will appreciate it, notice and model your behavior.