While divorce can be a negative weight on any family, this doesn’t mean you and your children can’t continue to thrive. One healthy way to cope with the stress of divorce is to establish or reinforce positive habits that bring you together and enable you to lean on one another for support. Here are 7 examples of some uplifting family habits and rituals that can help your children through the difficulties of this time.
1. Practice gratitude.
No matter how bad things seem in the moment, there is always something in our lives for which we can be grateful. Take some time with the kids at least once a week to give thanks in some way for the good things in your life. If you’re a family of faith, you can work prayer or meditation into this habit. It will affect your outlook drastically!
2. Eat at the dinner table.
A family dinner around the table is still one of the best ways for everyone to stay connected. If it’s not possible to have one meal together per day, set it up as often as possible.
The idea is simple: spending time contributing the community or focusing on others helps take your mind off your own problems for awhile and helps keep things in perspective. Find a cause or organization that matters to your family and become a volunteer.
4. Have a regular outing together.
This activity could be anything from a weekly hike to dinner at a favorite restaurant. Not only does it give the kids something to look forward to, but it also helps everyone press the reset button and unplug.
5. Set up weekly chores.
This habit isn’t necessarily exciting or fun, but it helps give the children a sense of routine and stability while keeping things orderly, clean and organized. This practice can be very important during times of stress.
6. Have a regular game or movie night.
Similar to family meals or outings, a weekly time to play board games or watch a movie can be a simple, fun way to stay connected.
7. Have regular one-on-one time with each child.
Beyond the family activities mentioned above, each of your children needs to be reminded how important they are in your life, especially now that divorce is a reality in theirs. Even if it’s for a few minutes at a time, make sure to spend some quality one-on-one time with each of your children at least once a week, and more if necessary.