Team sports can be a great source of confidence and a way to build lifelong healthy habits in your children. Unfortunately, sports can be one area of your children’s lives that your divorce negatively affects.
Children and teenagers frequently withdraw from previously-enjoyed activities following parental divorce. Such changes are more likely if they experience depression as a result of the changes to their family. Even if they continue participating, your divorce could potentially reduce how much your children enjoy or benefit from their participation. How can you limit the negative impact your divorce will have on your kids’ sports and extracurricular activities?
When they are young
Younger children, in particular, want to feel like they have the support of their parents at their big games, maybe even at their practices. If only one parent is present, or if neither parent can come because they are both spread thin, a child may feel abandoned and dejected as a result.
Clearly communicating with your child about attendance and doing your best to both be present if you can handle sharing space could go a long way toward helping your child feel supported. Parents may want to plan so that one of them can attend every game.
When they are middle-school age or older
Older children participating in school-based sports rather than community club activities may have the opposite desire. They may worry about how they perform in front of their parents or find their parents to be a source of social embarrassment. You may need to have a strict pick-up schedule for practices and agree to be present but calm at games to help teens feel comfortable with your presence.
Making sure that both you and your ex are on the same page regarding how you can best support your youthful athletes in your custody arrangements will help both of you give your children the guidance and support they need during this difficult time.