While divorce disrupts the familiar structure of family life, it can also offer possibilities for renewing and improving the relationships that do endure. Divorce can even improve your relationship with your child(ren). Here are some of the ways divorce can make you a better parent.
You’re ultimately providing a better home life.
You may be worried that your kids won’t be as happy now that you aren’t all living together under one roof, but this doesn’t have to be the case. SinceMyDivorce.com shares the poignant note one young girl gave her mother when her parents had been separated for a little while: “’Dear Mom, I think you and Dad are happier living apart so it’s okay with me if you get a divorce.’” Deciding to divorce isn’t easy, so it stands to reason that your home life was suffering as things were. By removing yourself and your children from a situation that wasn’t working, you’re giving them and yourself a new chance at a happy home, even if your new circumstances might take some getting used to.
Divorce puts the importance of healthy relationships centre stage.
While you obviously have always cared about your children’s welfare, divorce can make you focus even more on how you interact with them. You’ve changed your and their circumstances by altering the toxic emotional environment of an unhealthy marriage from all of your lives, and you now have the opportunity to focus on making your relationships with each other emphasize those qualities that you know are essential to family harmony, such as clear, honest communication. You’ll also have more emotional energy to devote to your kids now that you aren’t spending all your time worn out from fighting. You can take what you’ve learned the hard way about relationships and use it to forge happier ones for the future.
Your relationship with your children is now more one-on-one.
As the Huffington Post points out, while you may have to share custody of your children, “the moments you have with them are all yours.” You have the opportunity to get to know and interact with your children in a new way, one that emphasizes one-on-one communication and your individual personalities. Your children can get you know you as an individual, with your own wants, fears, and needs. While it can be tempting as a parent to shield your children from the complexities of your life (and there are going to be some things better discussed with your best friend, siblings, or even your ex), having your children see you as a complete, flawed, loving (and loveable) human being dealing with your own challenges may help them to relate to you.
You’re showing your children the importance of doing what’s right, even when it’s hard.
While your kids may not have wanted you and your ex to split up, seeing you make hard choices and grow through your challenges can provide a good example for them. Just don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Part of the lesson they’re learning with you is that you and your life don’t have to be picture-perfect in order to be valuable.
Let us be there for you.
Divorce is hard on everyone, but divorce with children comes with its own special challenges. We can help you and your family get through this difficult time.
Galbraith Family Law is a certified Collaborative Practice, and has been named the top firm in Barrie multiple times. Our legal insights have also been featured in the Globe and Mail, as well as Lawyers Weekly.
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