Many Illinois parents who go through a divorce struggle with the emotions that overwhelm them when they drop their children off with their ex. Not only do they have to watch their children leave with their ex, but these parents also know that they’re going home to an empty house. Fortunately, there are some coping tools that experts recommend for parents who struggle with dropping off their children to their co-parent.
Acknowledge your feelings
As a divorced parent, you may get used to holding your emotions in when you’re with your children. When you drop your children off to your ex, you have a perfect opportunity to let your feelings out. Recognize that your feelings are real, acknowledge them and allow yourself a healthy period to process them.
Remember your child’s perspective
The initial moments that follow a drop-off are taxing for parents when they face the stark realization that they are childless for the time being. In those moments, it’s important to remember that your children aren’t parentless when they’re with your ex. While you miss your children, and they miss you, they are building important bonds with their other parent.
Different isn’t always bad
After the end of your marriage, both you and your ex have the opportunity to parent your children according to your own standards. While some standards are universal, and consistency is key in some areas, it’s OK for your ex to approach things differently. Just because your ex doesn’t parent exactly like you do doesn’t mean that they parent incorrectly.
Children of divorced parents often struggle with the sudden upheaval of their lives. Creating consistency when doing your drop-offs is key. Try to schedule the drop-offs at the same time and at the same place to establish a routine.
When you and your ex got married, neither of you planned on getting divorced. However, once that happens, you can still create a healthy system that puts your children first while allowing you to process your own feelings.