For all of the tough and tricky parts of parenting through a divorce, there is at least one positive; you aren’t alone, nor are you the first person to go through this. Parenting during and after a divorce is a topic that has prompted thousands of hours of research by the foremost experts in their fields. While every expert’s advice is different in some ways, here are some of the most common words of advice from experts on parenting through the difficult period of divorce. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of what parents going through a divorce can do to help the process run smoothly, but it is a start, and hopefully a helpful one for you and your family.
TIP #1: COMMUNICATE WITH THEM, NOT THROUGH THEM
During and after a divorce, kids are likely to have lots and lots of questions for their parents. For many children of divorce, especially young ones, their parents’ divorce will be the largest change of circumstance in their short life. There is a thirst for kids going through a divorce to want to know everything. Use these opportunities to find out how they are feeling instead, and what they need, and avoid the urge to talk to them as a confidant. Don’t ask what your ex-spouse has said about you and try to avoid saying things your child will be tempted to pass along to your ex-spouse. Communicating with each other through kids can lead to your child feeling more torn, more confused, and like they are the focal point of your divorce. The more centered your conversations are on them, rather than your ex-spouse, the easier it will be for a child to emotionally heal.
TIP #2: KEEP IT CONSISTENT
How a child’s time is split with each parent after a divorce will be different for every family. This is especially true after a divorce is filed for but before it is finalized. One thing is almost always true; aspects of the custody split will almost certainly annoy you in one way or another, at least at first. It can be easy to want to alter and fix the arrangement in ways more convenient for you, but you would be wise to fight this urge, especially in the immediate aftermath of a divorce. Children thrive with consistency and organized planning. Try your best to stick with an arrangement once the arrangement is made. You and your ex-spouse will eventually come to a permanent arrangement (or have the courts come to an arrangement for you) when the process is all over. Until that happens, it’s better to forego the little battles and arguments over minor inconveniences and let your kids emotionally profit from the stability you are giving them during a particularly unstable moment in time.
TIP #3: NEVER PUT DOWN THE OTHER PARENT IN FRONT OF THEM
Things get heated. After a divorce, it is not unusual for ex-spouses to be on poor terms to say the least. However, by any means necessary both parents should avoid insulting the other parent around the children. Children will usually consider both parents a significant part of who they are as a person and putting down an ex-spouse will often be heard by a child as putting them down as well. Although the PR battle may be tempting, it can also be damaging to a child’s psyche and won’t be worth it in the long run.
Every divorce is as unique as the family going through it. There is set plan we can implement to to avoid pitfalls that have plagued people going through this process in the past when parenting through a divorce. Communication, consistency, and avoiding insults are great first steps and your children will thank you later. If you need help understanding your legal rights and options as a parent. Call Citadel Law Firm PLLC at 480-565-8020 or click here to schedule your free divorce consultation. Our Chandler Divorce Attorney Michael Albee will be please to assist you.