Keeping Up with Your Family Routines During Divorce

It is very important for your child to have things remain in tact during the divorce and/or separation. The change in the family structure is enough to be burdened with, so try to make all the little things stay the same, like bedtime stories, movie night, game night, dinner time, visits with relatives, etc.

Take the time to analyze the daily activities of your child and decide which of those are routine and which are not. Once you discover these routine activities, do your best not to interrupt them. Rituals and routines are what make an individual. The loss of routine will lessen your child’s sense of security and can ultimately cause him or her to lose his or her own identity.

Throughout and after the divorce and/or separation, some rituals or routines are difficult, if not impossible to maintain. When you discover this, try to create a new ritual or routine to take its place. Some rituals, like going to the park on the weekend, may not have seemed that important at the time, but when it is taken away, your child will quickly miss it.

For example: if you can not go to the park on the weekends, because you now live in the city, maybe there is a local museum that would accomplish a similar time-sharing experience.

The following is a list of events that are typically considered a family routine or ritual. It is provided to give you a start to reflect on your own family as well as giving you new ideas for replacements.

- Dinner Time

- Bed Time

- Morning Schedule

- Movie Night

- Game Night

- Visits with Friends and/or Relatives

- Sporting Events

- Trips to the Zoo

- Going for Ice Cream

- Going out to Dinner

- Going Fishing

- Walks in the Park

- Bike Rides

- Vacations

- Trip to the Circus

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