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Redefining normal: A necessary step in the divorce process

During the 1950s, the idea of “the nuclear family” became a widespread influence in our society. At that time, the definition of the nuclear family involved married parents raising their children in one home.

Today, this definition is hardly reality. In fact, many people have rejected this idea entirely. However, this idea can still have an unconscious influence on families today – especially when parents decide to get a divorce.

That is why one important – and often overlooked – step that individuals must take in their divorce involves redefining what is normal adjusting their perspective.

What does redefining normal involve?

There are a few things that you should consider when it comes to redefining what normal looks like. You should reconsider your perspective regarding:

  • The divorce: The divorce itself is the first thing you must redefine. Many people see divorce as a failure, or they worry about how it could affect their children. They might even fear the change a divorce will bring. You should take time to look at the divorce from a different perspective. For example, what are the potential positive outcomes the divorce could bring to your life? Many people find that if they are unhappy in their marriage, a divorce is often better for the whole family in the long run.
  • Your family: You will also have to redefine what family means – though this step is actually more important for your children. The University of Delaware reports that children consider their family to be the members who live all together under one roof. This is usually not the case once parents separate and divorce, and it can be difficult for children to conceptualize these changes and adjust to living in two homes. Divorcing parents can help children by reassuring them that, despite these changes, they will remain a family and continue to love them, no matter what.
  • Your role: When you establish your child custody agreement under North Carolina’s guidelines, you will also find that your role as a parent will change. Even though many parents choose to co-parent nowadays, it still takes time to adjust to a single-parenting lifestyle during your time with the kids. After the divorce, you should reconsider your role as a parent. If you do not, you often place more stress on yourself by holding yourself to high expectations.

There is no such thing as “the perfect family.” And though a divorce may change your family, you have the power to choose how you approach that change and embrace your new normal.