Separation and divorce are big events in anyone’s life, no matter how old you are. Even though we are all unique, there are life stages that influence how we will react and handle changes. Here is how children, from infants through to teenagers, may experience divorce. [Read more…]
You and your partner are no longer together but you still need to communicate, either to figure out the details of your separation, to handle co-parenting duties, or for some other reason. Unfortunately, many people who split still feel anger or hatred towards each other. These intense emotions can even come through in emails.
For example, people will use capital letters to show they are YELLING, to call their ex names, or to set their ex straight with the facts. It is a natural human reaction to want to state things like, “THIS is how it happened,” “You got it WRONG” or “You did THIS.”
Another harmful tactic with email is when people forward an email from their ex to their family or friends to rally support for their own point of view. [Read more…]
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.
What is the greatest gift you can give your child during a divorce? Being your healthiest self.
Why be your healthiest self?
If you are healthy you can:
- Focus on developing solutions instead of wasting your time on problems.
- Give your children stability and consistency rather than taking them on an emotional roller coaster.
- Respond to situations and de-escalate them instead of over-reacting and making things bigger.
- Manage conflict between households instead of increasing the conflict your children are exposed to.
- Help your children adjust rather than witness your children having difficulty adjusting.