A divorce changes a family a lot, but in most cases, the one thing that doesn’t change is that both parents want what’s best for the children. If you’re in the midst of a divorce, you should work with your ex to create a co-parenting plan that works for everyone. To help you out, here are eight tips for parenting while divorced.
1. Don’t Fight in Front of the Children
When parents fight, they can have an extremely negative effect on their children. Being around people who are combative raises levels of stress hormones in children, and that can lead to everything from learning difficulties to emotional issues.Make a rule not to fight in front of your children. If you have to discuss something with your ex that you fear may lead to a fight, set aside some time, preferably in a public spot like a coffee shop so it’s easier to keep your temper, and make sure the children aren’t there.
2. Keep Children Out of Divorce Drama
Beyond arguments, there is a lot of drama that can pop up during a divorce. Don’t pull the children into it. For example, don’t complain about your ex to your child. Also, avoid having phone conversations with friends, lawyers or family members about these types of topics in front of your children.
3. Try a Co-Parenting Model
If possible, you may want to embrace co-parenting after divorce. This is where you and your ex-partner work together to create a consistent approach to parenting. In a co-parenting model, children have roughly the same rules and expectations with both parents.
4. Share Custody
Unless the other parent is abusive, you should almost always consider shared custody. Children benefit from knowing both of their parents. Additionally, sharing custody can also make the situation easier for the parents.
5. Involve Extended Family
At some point during the divorce, have a conversation about how you want to involve extended family. Your children can benefit from spending time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other family. If you talk about ideas and expectations before the divorce, it can be easier to navigate the situation after the divorce.
6. Help Children Through Transitions
Going from one parent’s house to the other’s can be stressful for children. Even if you are stressed about the situation, put your child’s needs first. Make sure to be as relaxed as possible, and don’t approach the situation in a rushed or harried manner.Also, make sure that your child has transition objects, such as teddy bears or blankets for small children and electronics for older children.
7. Use Court-Approved Resources for Communication as Needed
Unfortunately, in some cases, co-parenting is virtually impossible. If you have an ex-partner who refuses to work with you, you may want to explore using court-approved tech tools for communication. OurFamilyWizard is one option.This tool tracks communication between both parents, which can be essential if you need to return to court and want to have a record of what the other parent has said. It also allows you to plan visitation and create a shared family calendar. Even in situations where parents get along, tools like this may be useful.
8. Consider Therapy
Divorce can be hard on everyone, and therapy can help your child through the situation. Don’t necessarily wait until you see signs of distress in your child. Instead, consider therapy as soon as you announce the divorce.If you are thinking about getting a divorce, let us help. Contact The Law Office of Cicily Simms today for more information. We specialize in family law.