Parenting through divorce can be challenging. Use these two lists to keep your family healthy.
- Always think about what is in your child’s best interests.
- Go out of your way to ensure that your ex is included in your child’s life.
- Be flexible.
- Reassure your child that they are loved, the divorce is not their fault, and neither parent is going to abandon them.
- Remember that children going through a divorce worry about themselves as well as each of their parents – speak openly about these worries so you can reassure them.
- Give the child permission to express their feelings freely. Be a model by sharing your own feelings appropriately.
- Take care of yourself so your child can be a child and not your caregiver.
- Follow through on commitments and promises.
- Discuss any proposed schedule changes directly with the other parent.
- Respect the other parent’s scheduled time with children and do not schedule plans that will conflict.
- Be willing to support and encourage extended family relationships.
- Create a calendar for the children so they always know their schedule.
- Fight with your ex, especially when the child can hear you.
- Belittle or criticize your former spouse in front of the child.
- Use your child as a messenger.
- Let your child act as your caretaker.
- Share intimate details of your ex’s wrongdoings.
- Hold back or stop paying child support.
- Introduce the child to your new romantic partner too soon.
- Choose a new home because it is far away from the other parent.
- Make your child a go-between, for example to ask your ex-spouse for money.
- Listen in on your child’s conversations with the other parent.
- Say anything that transfers the blame to the child.
When you focus on what’s best for your child, you can make co-parenting decisions that work best for everyone involved. Use these tips to maintain healthy relationships during a divorce.