3 Parenting Tips for Divorced Couples
No one wishes to experience the breakdown of a marriage, especially when there are kids involved. However, sometimes parting ways and calling it quits can be the most responsible way to look after your family and ensure everyone lives a happier and healthier life. Staying in an unhappy marriage can take its toll on you, and your children can pick up on your unhappiness. In fact, watching their parents stay together in a loveless and sometimes volatile relationship can harm them and cause them to develop relationship issues of their own.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to handle the divorce properly and to find the best way to parent your children. Sometimes, your ex-husband or wife may give you full custody and not want to have anything to do with your children, but if they do wish to stay in your life and your children’s lives, you will have to find a parenting style that works for you, your ex-partner, and your kids. You need to ensure that your children feel safe, secure, and experience consistency.
Here are the best parenting tips for divorced couples.
Co-Parenting or Parallel Parenting?
Co-parenting is the act of two parents coming to an agreement and plan on both being equally involved in the parenting of the children they had together. Typically, the parents will still interact with one another to discuss and plan the future for their children. Therefore, co-parenting may not work if you and your partner disagree a lot and have frequent conflicts with one another. If this is the case, then you and your ex-partner are likely to cause stress and tension for your children.
Parallel parenting, however, is the act of a divorced couple independently parenting their children. To parallel parent properly and effectively, a lot of planning needs to be involved to reduce tension. If you are unsure of how to go about parallel parenting, then you can always speak to professional lawyers who practice family law.
Have a Plan in Place (and Stick to It)
Regardless of whether you choose to co-parent or parallel parent, you need to have plans in place and then stick to them. Changing your plans will not only irritate your ex-partner, but it can also be upsetting to your children. Children thrive on consistency and having plans in place (such as who has the children which days, etc.) can help make your children feel more secure.
Sit down with your ex-partner and discuss which days of the week suit you best. For instance, because of work, would it be best for the father to have the children every other weekend? If so, mark it down and stick to these plans (unless there is a legitimate reason to change them).
Do Not Put Your Children in the Middle
Many parents use their children as a means to point score. Not only is this stressful for the child who is in the middle of it all, but it can have negative effects on your child’s mental health and could even stunt their ability to foster loving relationships with others. If you are worried that your ex-partner is using your children against you, then be sure to take steps to minimize the risk of harming your child.
Divorce is never easy. However, it does not have to be the be-all-and-end-all for the parents, children, and family and friends of those getting a divorce. Rather, it can be a fresh start for everyone involved. The number one rule of divorcing when children are involved, however, is to ensure that your children are properly cared for and looked after.