It's hard enough to send the kids to their dad after a relationship breakdown, but when another woman is added to the picture, you may not be the only one who suffers. Let's face it, those first weekends of sending your children to their dad after the divorce are hell.
But just when you find yourself adjusting to the new status quo, in waltzes his new lady love to confuse matters, not only for you but also for the little ones. Don't feel bad if your first instinct is to want to show your nails and save your little cubs from the confusion. However, experts say that that is not the ideal solution, as you teach them to leave their issues for you and they don't learn how to solve life's challenges.
When a new woman enters dad's life, your children may feel that she is taking away their dad's attention. However, it is not your problem. It is between them and their father. Follow these guidelines to learn how to help your children cope with this change in family dynamics.
Helping Your Kids Cope With Dad's New Girlfriend
Pack their favourite books or games, and encourage them to the journal. Tell them that, when they struggle to cope, to take some time out, and do something they enjoy on their own at dad's house.
If your children struggle to talk to their dad about their feelings, it might help to let them write out how they feel. Let them read it a few times a day, and after a couple of weeks, they will know how to speak to their dad. They may be afraid to hurt their dad's feels, or they may just not know how to speak to him.
When they are at their dad's house, they may be concerned about you. They may think that you are lonely, and their hurt at their dad moving on might manifest in fears that you are seeing someone. They may become anxious, fearing that they will have to compete for your attention back at home too.
As a result, they may call you a hundred times a day. While you want them to feel secure, it is important to limit the number of times they are allowed to call. Help them feel more secure by discussing your schedule for when they are away before they leave. Let them know the things you will be busy with, and that they should not call you during those times. Let them know when you will be calling them, and be sure to do that.
By being a firm, yet a loving presence in your children's lives, you will teach them great life skills.