Saturday, May 15, 2010

Making Too Many Changes

Another mistake often made by parents of divorce is to make too many changes in the lives of your children too soon.

"Making changes too fast is a big mistake," states Dr. Archibald Hart. "Children need time to make adjustments, depending to some extent on the age of the child, but particularly children between ages five and fourteen."

Dr. Bob Barnes says, "Many times amidst the anger and the pain, the custodial parent yanks the family's support system in one sudden move and says, 'We're out of here. We're going to move.' The children desperately need that support system. There needs to be a time of trying to calm down before big decisions are made."

Are you planning any changes that might be disruptive to your children? Could they be postponed?

"Another mistake that parents make is not realizing the loss of rituals," says Linda Jacobs. "Children have rituals that adults don't realize are rituals. A high-five every morning from a parent becomes a point of connection for the child, or a 'ritual.' When the parent leaves, the ritual leaves too. The remaining parent cannot replace the parent but he or she can develop new rituals. If parents don't develop healthy rituals for the children, the children may develop unhealthy rituals."

"Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind" (Proverbs 21:5 Msg).

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