Have you decided on your New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, January is the perfect time to use your New Year’s resolutions as a way to grow closer to your children and help them cope with the changes associated with a divorce. Whether you just began the proceedings or your divorce was recently finalized, it never hurts to take a close look at your and your children’s situation and see what could improve. If you have been particularly stressed lately, you may need to focus on yourself so you can be more present for your kids. If your children’s behavior has changed for the worse because of the divorce, it is time to figure out what can help them get back on track.
Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that may help you and your children cope with a divorce:
- Dedicate Time For Your Children
You are the most stable part of your children’s lives. They need to spend quality time with you to know their feelings matter and they are loved. Consider focusing on family dinners every night or make one night a week family night where distractions like cell phones are not allowed. You can expect some push back from teenagers who may feel too cool for family night, but over time, they will see that you make them a priority.
- Concentrate on Self-Care
It is easy to forget your own needs when you are working, stressed out about a divorce, paying all of the bills, and trying to take care of your children. However, your children need a healthy parent. If you have lost sight of taking care of yourself, conduct an inventory of your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. What could use improvement? Your self-care in 2017 may include eating better, exercising more, or ensuring you have a little time to yourself each week to relax. If you cannot afford a babysitter, consider exchanging sitting services with another parent. Another mom or dad in your children’s day care or class may also need some time every week. You can watch his or her kids one afternoon while he or she watches your kids another time.
- Consider Counseling
A divorce and the circumstances that led to the end of your marriage can be traumatic for you and your children. You all may benefit from counseling – together or separately. Sometimes all you, your son, or your daughter needs is to have an objective person to talk to. A counselor’s office can be a safe space to express anger, fear, and sadness without being judged or feeling as if you are letting someone down.
- Remain Polite With Your Ex-Spouse
This can be the hardest resolution of all. Divorce often comes with feelings of anger and resentment, which makes it particularly hard to work with your ex and stay on amicable terms. But a new year can bring a new resolve to remain calm and polite with your ex-spouse. It is possible to work out problems and stand up for your rights as a parent without resorting to anger.
- Practice Forgiveness
No matter what eventually led to a divorce, most spouses leave a marriage with anger, guilt, or a bit of both. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your children this year is to make an effort to forgive your ex and yourself.
Making Your Resolutions Stick
It is far easier to make New Year’s resolutions than to keep them months down the road. The best way to stick to these changes is to hold yourself accountable. Tell your children, family, and friends about the changes you want to make. You may even want to talk with your ex about maintaining an amicable relationship moving forward. Allow other people’s expectations to change so that you are consistently reminded of your promises. Also, consider using your mobile calendar. Set an alarm or event reminding you of your resolutions every 30 days for the entire year.
Contact a Chicago Divorce Attorney for Help
If you are considering a divorce or the proceedings are not progressing how you would like, contact the experienced Chicago divorce lawyers of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free initial case review. We have decades of combined experience helping people move forward with their lives through divorce. Call us today at 630-984-7446 or contact us online.