While divorced parents may be struggling to cope with the aftereffects of a divorce, it is often the children that take the biggest hit when their parents split. It can take children awhile to learn how to cope with transitioning from one parent’s home to the other.
For the over a million kids here in America who endure their parents’ divorces every year, these adjustments may not be smooth. In fact, younger children often regress with their behaviors as a result of the split. One way this may manifest is in sleep disturbances.
If you are in the process of divorce or have recently split from your children’s other parent, below are some things to keep in mind to help the kids get a good night’s rest.
Keep bedtime routines consistent
If your 3-year-old requires a nightly reading of Goodnight, Moon in order to drift off, don’t suddenly switch up to Where the Wild Things Are. Also, make sure their favorite lovey makes the trip between houses, along with a special blanket.
Also, maintaining the same bedtimes at both houses at least initially is recommended. Seemingly minor deviations can result in negative consequences like bedwetting or insomnia.
Work with the other parent to overcome the kids’ anxietiesWhile you might be content never to hear your ex’s voice again, your child may be comforted by a nightly call with their other parent when they are in your custody. Facilitate this as best you can with your ex so that your child can learn that both parents are still actively involved with all aspects of their lives — bedtime included.
Be patient with your children
Use the mantra “this too, shall pass” if need be. But be especially mindful of the special struggles experienced by children in divorce so that you are able to provide them with the support they need to get through the experience.