Couples with children must take a very different approach to the end of their marriage than couples who do not share a child. Parents who divorce may have ended their romantic relationship, but they will move forward as co-parents, and this new relationship is also important, especially for shared children. Often, divorced parents make choices that make it difficult for kids to recall happy times within the family, even when that is not their intent. The following tips are offered to assist Colorado parents in preserving those memories, even after the shape of the family unit has shifted.
One of the most important aspects of post-divorce parenting is to avoid suggesting that the other parent has somehow been cut out of the family. This can happen when parents remove all family photos from the home, and only display photographs of themselves and the child or children. While it is not necessary to hang old family photos throughout one's home, it is important to allow children to have access to these memories and to be able to preserve them. This may mean putting the photos into a scrapbook or storage box that kids can access, or encouraging them to frame and display favorite family photos in their room.
It is also important to revisit places where the family enjoyed good times together. In many cases, parents will intentionally avoid returning to a favorite park, restaurant or vacation spot that they feel might make their kids sad about the divorce. In reality, however, reminding them of these happy times can be very healing, as can teaching the message that kids can continue many of their former routines after a divorce has taken place.
For Colorado parents, divorce marks the end of one type of adult relationship, as well as the beginning of another. Children need a high degree of consistency both during and after a divorce, and helping them to preserve their memories of the intact family unit is a healthy pursuit. While acknowledging happy times can sometimes make children sad about the changes in their lives, those memories are also powerful reminders of the durability of the love that exists between a parent and child.
Source: leavenworthtimes.com, "How (and why) to stop divorce from ruining your kids' happy memories", Gary & Joy Lundberg, Sept. 10, 2015