A divorce can be a confusing time for not only yourself but any children involved. Younger children will especially have a tough time trying to understand what happened. They may even think they are to blame. Older children may lash out, get moody and experiment with drugs and alcohol as they navigate life with divorced parents.
While divorce is not without its challenges, it is manageable for most children. They have an easier time dealing with unfamiliar situations when they have some routine in their lives. As long as they have stability as well as some outlets for dealing with divorce, many kids do just fine.
That is why you should encourage your child to find hobbies and sports they enjoy and want to participate in post-divorce. Sports and activities are beneficial for all kids, whether or not their parents are divorced. It is likely that many of their friends participate in after-school activities, so it will give them a sense of normalcy. It can also help build socialization skills, since they may meet new kids with like-minded interests. This can help keep their mind off the stresses of divorce and focus on having fun.
When kids are bored and have nothing to do, their minds tend to wander. They may think about how stressed they are. They may feel depressed. They may even turn to bad habits, such as overeating or watching too much TV. Sports especially offer physical and emotional benefits. Kids can get in shape and get much-needed exercise, which makes them feel better about themselves. However, any type of activity, from drawing to reading to making arts and crafts to taking computer classes, can be helpful for a child of divorce.
Activities and hobbies also provide kids with a sense of routine and stability. They know they have to be at a certain place at a certain time, which gives them something to look forward to. Your children can participate in sports no matter where they live. They will have a practice and game schedule that they will have to follow. They will learn responsibility knowing that they have to be at practices and games and they learn the importance of teamwork. It is a good skill for them to learn.
Creating a routine is helpful in child custody cases. Courts like to see parents focusing on their children and helping them establish new routines in the wake of a divorce. Activities help keep a child on schedule, and a parent’s support and participation go a long way in showing how hard they are working to raise a well-rounded child despite difficult circumstances.
Of course, activities come with some drawbacks. Some can be expensive. Many sports require registration fees as well as proper equipment, which can cost hundreds of dollars. Plus, there is the transportation to and from practices and events. Who will handle all of this? The parents will need to decide and hopefully share the responsibility. When one parent has to shoulder all the responsibilities, an activity that a child enjoys can quickly become a burden for a parent who is already stressed out and overwhelmed. Therefore, it is important for the parents to see eye to eye. Otherwise, it is the child who ultimately suffers.
What to Know When Your Kids Play Sports
Kids’ activities are one of the common disputes among divorced parents. Some parents disagree on which hobbies their kids should pursue, while others may argue that the sports (such as football) are too dangerous. Co-parenting after a divorce can be a challenge when the parents do not agree on what their children should and should not be allowed to do. Here are some things you should be aware of when allowing your kids to play sports after a divorce.
- Courts encourage sports and activities. Courts tend to support activities for children because they offer routine and stability. You may even want to include it in your parenting plan so there are no arguments from either parent when your child decides he or she wants to participate in an extracurricular activity.
- Parenting time may be reevaluated. The court may require you to work around your child’s activity schedule. To make up for this, you may get more parenting time during the summer or school vacations, for example. However, there will not be any major changes in terms of the amount of parenting time.
- Both parents can go to the game. Unless you do not have custody of your child, you can still see your child play, even if it is not your “day.” Chances are, your child will be thrilled to see both parents there. So even if you are not on the best of terms with your ex-spouse, be mature, suck it up and attend for your child’s sake. However, if you start a confrontation with the other parent, you may be asked to leave. Do not embarrass your child. Be professional or do not go at all.
Seek Legal Help
Parenting can be hard after a divorce, especially if you are trying to coordinate working with after-school activities such as sports. However, sports and other activities are healthy outlets for children as they deal with the stresses and pressures of coming from a broken home.
Make sure you and the other parent are on the same page when caring for your children after divorce. Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler has more than 30 years of experience helping Florida families deal with post-divorce matters. Move on with less stress. Fill out the online form or call (954) 346-6464 to schedule a consultation.