Divorce is hard on kids. They can feel a lot of guilt and confusion and may even be afraid that their parents don’t love them anymore. Many parents try to show love by showering the child with gifts, but this can set the stage for future problems and resentment. Instead, try these 10 ways to show your kids how much you love them.
1. Attend their special events.
Whenever possible, go to your child’s events. Soccer games, musical performances and other activities are a big deal for kids. Be there to support and cheer your child on.
2. Go to parent-teacher conferences.
Even though your child isn’t there, you will show love by demonstrating that you are still a part of your child’s life and that everything they do is important to you.
3. Plan fun activities with your kids.
Schedule fun time on the calendar. Go to a park and kick a ball around, climb on playground equipment, go swimming or explore other fun activities your child wants to do.
4. Say “I love you.”
You can never say “I love you” too many times. Take every opportunity to simply say those three words to your child.
5. Play games with your children.
If your child is into video games, play two-player games together. This is especially helpful for parents who don’t get to see their children regularly. Online game play allows you to work together as a team while you visit. And don’t forget board games. Even the classic Monopoly and Scrabble can bring you closer together.
6. Keep routines in place and enforce rules.
Change is hard on kids. As much as possible, keep the routines stable, and keep rules the same.
7. Answer questions honestly but positively.
Your kids will have a lot of questions for you. Answer them honestly, but don’t attack the other parent, and keep information age appropriate.
8. Listen when your child talks and ask questions.
Encourage your children to tell you about their lives. Listen and ask questions about activities, school and friends.
9. Plan to spend one-on-one time.
If you have more than one child, make sure to spend quality one-on-one time with each one now and then. They will cherish these special moments for a long time.
10. Allow your child to remain a child.
So many children of divorce feel like they have to take on a more adult role when one parent moves out. Keep extra chores to a minimum, and allow plenty of time to do fun activities with their friends. Letting your children be children is probably the best way to show love.