Image by lenkafortelna / pixbay
One of the most stressful ordeals you can ever go through is a divorce. Divorces are tough on your finances, your emotional state, and your quality of life. But beyond whatever difficulties you may be experiencing, it is incredibly important to never lose sight of how your children are coping with the divorce. The separation of the parental unit can have long-lasting consequences for your children, so how you handle raising them during and after the divorce can determine their ability to cope with the separation for the long run.
The first thing you need to do is get over any self-blame you may be experiencing. Over half of the marriages in America end in divorce, not to mention the many thousands of unmarried couples who split up on a regular basis. Sometimes relationships just don’t work out, and blaming yourself isn’t going to make it any easier on your children. So get over your doubts and focus on what is really needed: raising your children correctly post-divorce.
Equal Time If Possible
Custody issues are rarely cut and dry, but you both need to be sensible adults when it comes to making sure both parents remain in the lives of their children. Whatever the final arrangement may be, you never want your children to become alienated from one of the parents. Make sure that both parents remain firmly in the lives of the children. Work together to make this happen, because if you don’t then this can cause long term issues for your child.
As time passes and new relationships form, it is only natural that a new spouse or life partner may begin to take on certain parental roles with the children. This is only natural, but the true parent should never be left out in the cold. In these cases, the open dialog that is so important between the ex-spouses needs to be extended to the new spouses as well. No matter how awkward this may be, you need to all be sensible adults about this. Your children’s wellbeing depends on it.
Don’t Punish Their Decision
If your child should express a desire to see more of your ex-spouse, try not to have a jealous reaction to this. It doesn’t mean that your child doesn’t love you or that they love your ex more. It simply means that they wish to maintain a connection with their parent, and you need to respect this. No matter the trouble you may have had, or are still having, with your ex, your child deserves to see them and you should never stand in their way.
The worst thing that you can do to your children during and after a divorce is to use them as weapons against your ex. Remember that they are the innocent parties in all of this, and they deserve the right to make their own decisions and have a say in the arrangements.
Communicate with Your Ex
No matter what issues led to your divorce or what animosities still remain, your children should always come first. Work with your spouse to put into place a game plan for how you are going to handle the raising of the children. Work out any custody issues and determine a unified parental plan for going forward. If there are new partners involved on either end, then make sure that they are in on this as well. Never let your animosity spill over into your dealings with the children. You two can have all the drama and disagreements in the world, but never let this infect how you deal with the children.
As your children grow, you and your ex will need to stay on the same page when it comes to making decisions on their care, punishments for misbehavior, dealing with any crisis’ that come up, and all other items that you would have been dealing with anyway had you stayed together. Likewise, according to a website RidgefieldRecovery it’s best that you alert your ex-spouse should you notice warning signs such as sudden social withdrawal, a shift in friends, etc. The two of you need to continue functioning as a parental unit, even if you have both moved on into your new lives.
Keep everyone on the Same Page
After the divorce, both spouses should continue to attend the functions they once attended together. Any sports, plays, or other events should still be attended and any awards or achievements should be celebrated and acknowledged by both parties. If one parent should begin to be left out of these activities, it will confuse the child and may lead to developmental and behavioral issues down the line.
Your children should always come first in a marriage, and the same goes for a divorce. No matter what is happening between you and your ex, keep that drama away from your kids and present a supportive, unified front. You owe it to them to do so.