Divorces are hard enough to get through when they involve just two people, but they can be particularly difficult when children are involved. If you and your spouse have decided to separate, you will need to adjust your parenting styles to accommodate your new lives. The transition isn’t easy, but it is one that you will have to make no matter what. Here are some parenting tips after divorce to help you get through this stressful time.
Let Your Children Know Why You Separated
No, this doesn’t mean you should tell your kids all of the dirty details about your late night fights. It just means that you need to make them aware of why they suddenly have to travel to two households to see their parents. You can keep the explanation simple: “Mom and dad are having trouble getting along, and we feel that we will all be happier if we lived in different houses.” This is easier to do with older children who have already picked up on the tension in your relationship.
Make A Parenting Plan With Your Former Spouse
Even after a divorce, you have to stay in communication with your former spouse for the sake of your children. You still need to discuss important decisions that come up in your kids’ lives so you can keep the parenting the same across the board. Many divorces end up breeding a good cop/bad cop setup that the parents did not plan to have. To avoid being deemed the “bad cop,” you need to make sure you and your spouse agree to the rules you will enforce.
Do NOT Use Your Children As Tools In A Fight
Bringing children into your marital problems is never a good idea. Quite frankly, it’s irresponsible parenting. It doesn’t matter if your ex-husband really is a “two timing bastard.” Your kids don’t need to know that. Don’t put your children in the middle of your fights. In fact, try not to let them see you fight at all. This is a battle between the two of you and it needs to stay that way.
Make Sure Your Children Feel Loved
Above all else, you need to make sure that your children still feel loved after a divorce. Make sure that they understand that they are not the cause of the divorce – that they had nothing to do with it. Tell your children that you will always love their father/mother because he/she helped bring them into the world. That is the only way to truly help them through this situation.