Creating a nurturing environment for your children after a divorce can help them to thrive as they adjust to the new way of life. It isn't always easy to figure out what is going to encourage them to enjoy the way things are now. Often, parents need to use a multifaceted approach.
While you are figuring out what works for the kids, you might be discovering what you need to do for yourself. As you become accustomed to your new role as a single parent and your children adjust to the divorce, you will learn what works and what doesn't. Think about these points as a springboard to discovering the methods that work for your situation:
Set the rules
While you may be tempted to let things slide while you are going through the divorce, this sets a bad precedent for the kids. Instead, you need to make it clear that you are still the parent and that the house has rules. Let them know the consequences for not following the rules and doing what is expected.
Create your home
Whether you are living in the marital home, a temporary rental or a new house, you need to make the space your own. Adding the small touches helps your children to feel more welcome. Be sure they have their own area, even if they don't have their own room. Knowing that they have a dedicated space for their things can help them right now.
If they have their own room and you can paint, let them choose the color. Even in a rental, they can choose their bedding, wall décor, window treatments and other décor options.
Find hobbies to do together
Having things that you and your children enjoy doing together builds great memories. Physical activities like hiking or camping may be fun for some families. Art activities and crafts, including painting or woodworking, can also be enjoyable. These don't all need to take place away from the home. Putting together puzzles, watching movies or playing board games can be fun activities for times when you don't want to leave the house.
Encourage the children to find their own passions
Kids need to be able to pursue their own passions, even when your schedule is tight. Talk to them to find out what they want to try. Martial arts, dance, swimming and other activities are possibilities. Be realistic when you are evaluating the schedules and commitments. You also have to consider the parenting plan schedule. Find out if your ex can pitch in and help with transportation and other aspects of the activities.