Mothers going through divorce frequently worry about how such a significant life-changing event will affect their relationship with their kids. We all know that no other relationship compares to that of a mother and her child. However, a divorce can put this relationship to the test, so as a mom, you must take special care to sustain your relationship with your son. The following strategies will help you stay close to your son who lives with his father after the divorce.
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Whether your son has reached the age of 15 or you and his father agreed that he could live with him, you need to know how to stay connected with your son and strengthen your bond even though he doesn’t live with you anymore.
Show and Tell Him How Much You Love Him
Even if you might think it's clear to your son how much you love him, he still needs to hear and see it. Your son needs to know that your love is steady during a divorce because there is so much change in his life. Tell him frequently, and also show him physical affection. Although older kids might believe they are too old for a mommy hug, they are not!
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Maintain The Same House Rules
Bedtimes and academic standards cannot be automatically abandoned just because you want to show your son you love him. Most kids do best in environments with structure and rules. It is crucial to preserve the routine that your son has become accustomed to at home as their family dynamic changes following a divorce. Keep his father informed about the routine your son is used to so he can do the same with him. Moreover, let your kid know that you’re aware of what they’re doing even when you’re not around.
Know That Your Child Isn’t Your Therapist
Divorce is difficult, therefore it's crucial to have the support of your friends, family, and an experienced divorce lawyer. You could also seek the assistance of a therapist with expertise in supporting people before, during, and after divorce. You shouldn't rely on your son for this kind of help, though. Instead of the other way around, your son should know he can turn to you for assistance as the divorce course progresses. Your kid should not be involved in discussions about your spouse's bad behavior or other legal issues.
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Make Him Feel Okay to Love His Father
The bond between a mother and child is unique, but the bond between a father and child is also special. Although these relationships may differ, they are both crucial for the emotional wellbeing of your child. It's crucial to tell your kid that he can love and care about his father without worrying that doing so will somehow harm you. When your son feels okay about loving his father, he’ll have more reasons to trust you and feel like he can tell you anything.
Be There For Him in Every Way
Your child will no longer constantly be with you after the divorce is finalized because he will now be spending time with his other parent. Your schedule will determine how much time you have, but how much time you spend with your kids will be up to you. Make the time you spend with your kids count by being serious about it. Even though those things are good too, this does not necessarily entail organizing visits to Dream Park or expensive outings.
Sharing meals and talking heart-to-heart with one another, putting away your phone when you're with your son, and making movie nights with him more special by making popcorn, cuddling up, and watching the film together is the right thing to do rather than scrolling through social media. Your presence matters greatly to your son more than ever since he’s now aware of the difference.
Keep Your Home The Same
Just because your son moved out, it is time for you to turn his room into your study or the like. Your home is your son’s first home, and he needs to feel that whenever he visits you. Moreover, keep his things where he left them. That way, whenever he enters his room, he’ll feel safe and comfortable. If you need to deep-clean your house, make sure to place everything exactly where it belongs.
Divorce is tough on every member of the family, especially on your kids. They feel the most unsafe and uncomfortable when they see that their source of comfort (their parents) won’t be living together anymore. Things get way harder when your son moves out to live with his dad. However, you need to stay strong and know that nothing will ever change the love he has for you. It is important though to strengthen your relationship with him and make your bond stronger.
Main image credit: @chrissyteigen