Keeping Close to Children During Divorce
Divorce asks a lot. Parents juggling jobs, life upheaval, and legal appointments barely keep their heads above water. Which often means disconnect from their children when children need parents most. One small habit can make all the difference.
Tuck children into bed each night. No matter their age.
Slumber parties and late night infomercials can’t be all wrong. Something magical happens as people wind down at night. Those moments offer prime time to check in with children and reconnect after the day’s events have passed. Children seem more willing to share. Parents can break from the demands of the day to focus one-on-one attention.
The High-Low game asks each person to share their high and low moment of the day. This simple format offers the opportunity for parents to hear what makes their child’s day. And, what challenges.
As the game becomes a nightly ritual, children come to count on the moments when they know parents will listen. Children plan their responses. Especially if days are too packed for real communication. If parents pay close attention, they learn key areas to address to help each child transition as well as possible through the divorce.
At the same time, parents can reflect on their own highs and lows. While parents may choose not to share the actual lowest moment, the opportunity to pause and reflect helps parents identify the areas of deepest struggle. Just naming these often reduces their power and puts them into perspective. In identifying their highs to their children, parents remind themselves that there is still good–even in the upheaval.
Though parents redefine their relationship and break a significant connection through divorce, they must preserve connection with their children. This simple ritual provides the opportunity.