Parenting your children with an ex-spouse is a challenge that involves open communication with someone you don’t get along with, and in some cases, someone you can hardly stand to be in the same room with. Even if this is the case, your children haven’t done anything wrong and they deserve to be cared for by both of their parents in equal measure.
Fortunately the legal team at The Huntsman Firm has some advice for divorced parents on how to successfully co-parent their children without argument or drama:
- Establish a business-like relationship with your ex
- Give your ex the benefit of the doubt
- Do not discuss disputes or speak ill of the other parent around your children
- Respect the other parent ‘s privacy and don’t tap your children for information about their household, life, friends, income, etc.
- Both spouses need to acknowledge their children’s sadness, confusion, guilt and feelings of abandonment and talk to them about those feelings
- Make sure your children know that they are not guilty of anything and both parents love them equally
- Bury the hatchet, stop being defensive and call a truce
- Remain a good example for your kids
- Don’t hesitate to seek professional therapy
- Keep open communication open with your children
Separate Feelings from Behavior
Being hurt and angry in a divorce is natural, but these feelings shouldn’t dictate your behavior. If you’re upset, don’t vent to your children. Talk to a friend, therapist or another family member if you need to get something off your chest. Always keep your child’s best interests at heart and this might help you keep calm and resist becoming overwhelmed by anger. You can also breathe deeply, practice meditation and exercise to remain stable and collected.
It’s also essential to never, ever put your children into the middle of the situation. Your resentment and bitterness towards an ex is natural, but you need to keep those feelings distanced from your children. Children should never be used as messengers or placed in a mediator position.