When getting a divorce, both parties know that just about every aspect of their life is going to be changing. In many cases, that is seen as a good thing since they were unhappy in their marriage. It is important, however, to keep in mind that just about every aspect of your children’s lives will be changing as well. In order to help them to adjust to their “new normal,” it is critical that you and your ex do everything you can to co-parent in a way that will put your kids first. The following are proven tips that can give you a great place to start.
Never Use Children for Leverage
There will undoubtedly still be hurt feelings, anger, and other unpleasant emotions concerning your ex, but remember that those are your burden, not your child’s. Never use your children as leverage against your ex. Do not deny the other parent their parenting time or even deny a reasonable request to take them for a special event. Your goal should always be to help your children form a close relationship with both of their parents.
Kids Aren’t Messengers
If you have something that you need to say to your ex, make sure you either call them, text them, or if necessary, send the message through your attorney. You should never have your kids serve as a messenger to convey any type of important message. It puts them in an unfair role that can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. It is your responsibility to handle all communication with their other parent.
Present a United Front
When married, most parents do everything they can to stay on the same page when it comes to setting rules for their children. To the greatest extent possible, this should continue after a divorce. If a child gets grounded from electronics due to misbehavior at school, for example, both parents should enforce that restriction. If you don’t work together when it comes to discipline and rules, the kids will quickly learn how to manipulate the situation for their own benefit, and that is not healthy for their emotional maturity and their relationships with their parents.
Make Both Houses a Home
If parents are splitting the time with the kids evenly, which is becoming much more common, it is natural that the kids will have all their basic necessitates in both locations. Even if your kids are only spending a few days per month at your house, however, do what you can to make it feel like their home. Make sure they have their own bed, toothbrush, and other items so they don’t have to transport them back and forth. While this may seem small, it can help ensure your kids don’t look at it as just spending the night, but going to their other home. This can also help them feel more comfortable and wanted in both of their homes.
Always Put Love First
In the end, every co-parenting situation is going to be unique. No blog post or list of tips will be able to give you all the information you need. You and your ex will have to make decisions based on what is going on in your lives as well as the lives of your children. As long as you make all your decisions out of love for your children, rather than any other reason, you will be doing the best co-parenting you can.