Establishing and Maintaining Family Routines During and After Divorce
Key Points
  • Divorce is often a disruption. You would want to make sure you are keeping and maintaining as many family routines as you can especially after the divorce is final.
  • Children in particular respond well to regular routines and structure. If you read your children bedtime stories before the divorce, keep that routine; it helps remind the child that things may not be so different and that they are still safe and their world is still secure.
  • If you are forced to change a ritual or routine, you may want to try something new to take an old ritual or routine’s place. Do not think your child will just simply adjust, this ritual or routine is part of the child.

It is very important for your child to have things remain in tact during the divorce and/or separation. The change in the family structure is enough to be burdened with, so try to make all the little things stay the same, like bedtime stories, movie night, game night, dinner time, visits with relatives, etc.

Take the time to analyze the daily activities of your child and decide which of those are routine and which are not. Once you discover these routine activities, do your best not to interrupt them. Rituals and routines are what make an individual. The loss of routine will lessen your child's sense of security and can ultimately cause him or her to lose his or her own identity.

Throughout and after the divorce and/or separation, some rituals or routines are difficult, if not impossible to maintain. When you discover this, try to create a new ritual or routine to take its place. Some rituals, like going to the park on the weekend, may not have seemed that important at the time, but when it is taken away, your child will quickly miss it. For example: if you can not go to the park on the weekends, because you now live in the city, maybe there is a local museum that would accomplish a similar time-sharing experience.



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Suggested Reading
Creating a Successful Parenting Plan Creating a Successful Parenting Plan
This extraordinary book and computer disk offers separating or divorcing parents a sure-fire way to create a workable, practical parenting plan/agreement that is in the best interest of their children.

Author: Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.


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