When two parents make the difficult decision to get divorced in Virginia, one of the biggest challenges they face is being able to tell their children about these changes in a way that is the least damaging possible. Often, children will struggle as they try to make sense of what is happening, try to understand both sides of the story and learn to manage all of their emotions. While it can be difficult and even daunting for parents to tell their children about what is happening, their efforts to do it in a kind and caring manner can make a significant difference in how their children are able to handle the information they are hearing.
According to Web MD, one of the most important things that parents can do is to maintain a routine that is as close to what their children are used to as possible. Often, this means parents will need to compromise on who gives up certain parenting responsibilities, who lives with the children and who is responsible for overseeing their schooling and extra-curricular activities. When a fair compromise can be met, children can continue to maintain their current schedule which will provide stability in a time when all kinds of things relating to their familial relationships are changing drastically.
In developing a functional co-parenting plan, Psychology Today suggests that parents do the following:
- Discuss each other's parenting responsibilities in detail including which will be shared.
- Leave some wiggle room for modifying their agreement in the future to accommodate life changes.
- Decide who their children will be living with and how temporary visitation arrangements will be made.
They should also be fair, flexible and supportive in working out holiday arrangements to allow their children time with both parents to celebrate and continue traditions.