Here you’ll learn valuable tips for parenting after divorce. Included are suggestions for visitation, child support issues, and getting along with your ex spouse
When families are dealing with divorce, children are often profoundly affected. Coping with divorce is like coping with a death. It is the death of a marriage, and of family life, good or bad. Children are the innocent bystanders who are often caught in the crossfire. They often feel responsible for their family’s problems, and sometimes blame themselves for the divorce.
First and foremost, it is important to have open communication with the children. Both parents need to let them know that the divorce was not their fault. Kids also tend to think they could have changed things – if only they were better behaved, or did more to help around the house. Let them know that they did not do anything to cause the divorce, and there was nothing they could do to change things.
Having a cordial relationship with an ex spouse is best for all concerned. No one likes negativity and constant anger. If you do not see eye to eye with your ex spouse, agreeing to disagree is a wise decision.
Be careful not to criticize your ex spouse in front of your child. You may not think your child is listening, but kids are often curious about adult conversations. They want to know what is going on with mom and dad. Remember, saying negative things about your ex spouse in the vicinity of the children hurts them, not the other parent.
When it comes to visitation, many ex couples agree to meet halfway when transporting the children. Meeting in a public location is often more comfortable than going to the home of an ex spouse. When the children involved are older, this arrangement is easy since it simply involves getting out of one parent’s vehicle and into the vehicle of the other.
Be considerate when planning visitation with your kids. Some parents who are on good terms with one another choose not to strictly adhere to the court ordered visitation. This works fine for some, but not for others. It is courteous to request visitation at least 24 hours in advance. Do not expect an ex spouse to agree to visitation at the last minute. Sometimes plans have already been made, and asking an ex spouse to cancel them would not be fair.
When your child is packing things for a visit to mom or dad’s house, allow them to take any of their belongings they may want or need. Parents often decide that because they bought something, it should stay at their house. This is unfair to your child. Gifts and necessities bought for them belong to them.
Keep phone conversations with your ex spouse limited to the subject of the children. Discussing controversial topics and problems of the past will only bring out negative feelings and will more than likely start an argument.
When monetary compensation such as child support is an issue, keep these conversations private. Your child should not be made to feel like a commodity or tax deduction. It is all right to let your child know that support is meant for their necessities, but they should never be told how far behind their parent is in paying. They may place blame on themselves if the budget is tight.
It would be of great benefit to your child if their other parent were made to feel welcome at his or her school functions and sporting events. Involve your ex spouse in your child’s accomplishments and school activities. You do not have to sit next to one another. Just being there will make all the difference in the world to your child.
Parenting with your ex spouse can work if both people are open-minded and understand the importance of communication. Communicating may have been a problem during the marriage, but children need both parents working together with his or her best interest in mind.