Parenting can be a challenge in the best of times, but after the stress of divorce it can seem overwhelming. Sometimes we get so focused on the big picture things, like where children are going to attend school, that we forget about the little things, like popsicles!
Here’s what I mean. Children need to feel that they have control over some aspects of their life. While children shouldn’t be allowed to choose the family car, they need to have input in smaller decisions, like the flavor of the popsicles! It is OK to have the best popsicles on the block!
Another fun way to let children make smaller decisions is to let them choose an assortment of snacks to keep on hand.
For older children, allowing input in clothing, hair, or decorating their rooms is completely appropriate. It need not cost a fortune. A quick tour of Target or other department stores will usually yield all the “cool” décor a child could want!
Letting the children know what is coming up on the schedule is another way to help them feel in control. Get them their own calendar and special stickers or markers to decorate it.
Also, remember to let the children know what is expected of them at new events. For example, if they are going to meet someone for the first time, tell them something about the person and practice shaking hands. This helps your child feel confident. And don’t forget the popsicles!