Learning to co-parent can ease the stress on your children
When a couple has a child, they typically make sacrifices and do whatever is necessary to ensure the wellbeing – both physical and mental – of their youngster. Unfortunately, if the couple later decides to divorce, it is common for them not to be aware of how best to handle the impending separation with the children.
After deciding to divorce, the best course of action is for couples to take time to come up with a plan of action for the kids. By following a few simple steps, parents can minimize the concern and tension felt by their children during the transition.
Most importantly, stay positive
One of the most tempting situations for a newly divorced parent – especially if the divorce proceedings were contentious – is to relay those frustrations to the children. In many cases, however, a joint custody agreement will have been determined and both parents will spend some time with the children going forward.
Consequently, making negative comments about the children’s other parent can cause them to feel confused and increase their stress level. While it is expected for spouses to have gripes and more serious negative feelings toward their ex following a divorce, it is important to make efforts to prevent the children from becoming aware of those issues.
Rather, parents can choose to get out their frustrations about their former spouse when speaking to adult friends or members of their family. In addition, parents should take care to stop their children if the children begin making negative comments about the other parent, as well.
Keep the lines of communication open
Following a divorce, it is not uncommon for children to act out in certain ways, testing the boundaries of the new situation in which they find themselves. As a result, parents would be wise to discuss any issues arising with the children, to ensure a consistent approach is adopted to curb the behavior.
In addition, communication will be necessary for ordinary, day-to-day interactions when the parents have joint custody. For instance, there may be times when one spouse is running late for a pick up or drop off. Having open communication – even if only via email or text messages -will make such situations easier to handle and potentially prevent heated arguments.
If you and your spouse are getting divorced, take time to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for your children. Throughout the divorce process, it is a prudent step to seek the advice of a skilled family law attorney to ensure your rights are protected.