Divorce and Children: Maintaining Relationships Post Divorce

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When it comes to divorce and children, one of the greatest challenges is finding time with them as they get older.

What you need to do is move away from the concept of “losing time” and move toward maintaining a positive, strong relationship with your children. Parents are often so focused on the first eighteen years of the child’s life. What they are really doing during that time is setting the groundwork for the longer-term relationship with the child, which is after they are eighteen. What you want to do is to establish communication, nurturing, and an interest in being together and sharing holidays, rituals, activities, and pursuits. Once the children are off on their own, that relationship continues, and parents find themselves not only in a relationship with their children, but, theoretically, in a relationship with their grandchildren as well – The Smart DivorceOpens in a new tab.

One of the biggest challenges for me post divorceOpens in a new tab., especially as my children are now adults, is having them find the time to spend with me.   The problem is, with their social schedules, living on the university campus, and then splitting their time between mom’s house and dad’s when they are home provides less time available.  So dinner together has become one of the most precious and relaxing times we have together. But, I’ve learned some important lessons along the way.

  • If you set up expectations that they can adhere to, it usually happens.  So for instance my children know that Friday night dinners are important to me – they are respectful of that and make their plans afterwards.  Inevitably, they’ll go out with their friends, but at least they know where they’ll be for dinner.  We accommodate our timing around their schedule.
  • Allow your children to make choices.  A child who relates well to his or her parents is more likely to want to spend the time with their parents, and will make the effort too…..and stick around a bit, not just bale as soon as possible.
  • Children’s plans are last minute.  One of my biggest frustrations is that my kids never know what they’re doing, until they are actually doing it.  My plans are always made in advance.  I know my schedule and plan around it.  Kids today operate on a different time frame they are in the moment.  So I’ve learn to adjust and work in the moment with them.

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While my time may be limited in the moment, I’ve learned not to think in terms of minutes and hours; but in terms of the quality of the relationship I’m building.  We’ve got years a head of us, and hopefully many milestones to celebrate from graduations to weddings, births to birthdays.  Ensuring that my children cherish the time as much as I do, is promoting a healthy relationship long term.

Related posts:

This Family, Day Don’t Play Games with Your Children

Estranged or Abandoned by a Parent, Are Children Scarred for Life?Opens in a new tab.

Children’s Bill of Rights 

Putting Your Children’s Best Interests First

Contact Sarah at (647) 493-1800 or complete an inquiry formOpens in a new tab. to get help specific to your situation.

Deborah Moskovitch

This blog post was written by Deborah Moskovitch the author of "The Smart Divorce", the catalyst for this website. This evergreen book covers how to manage the divorce process for a less painful result.

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