Children bear more effects of the conflicts and interruptions prior to the divorce than their parents. Marriage counselors advice couples to enhance co-parenting relationship to help children heal faster and adjust to the new family arrangements. Treating your spouse like a business partner builds confidence and respect from the children, giving them yet another chance to have a holistic growth despite the circumstances. Some of the ground rules for effective parenting after divorce include-
Never allow them to take sides
Let the children know that these are two different households with different rules and no one has control over the parent’s decisions. When they are in dad’s house, they follow their dad’s rules; similarly, when they are in mom’s house they follow mom’s rules. To enhance these disciplinary measures, when a child tries to tell you something about your ex, confirm with them. The fact that you can always reach a compromise as a guiding tool to the children they will leave to follow what is expected of them.
Never bad mouth your ex with the children, you lose their grip and think at the same level. Allow them to be children and not adults. If you have a burning issue about your spouse, talk to a trusted friend to release the anger and resentment. The children should not be a battle ground to deal with your conflicts. As a matter of fact, you are referees in the co-parenting playground.
Communicate wherever possible to prevent child manipulation
The moment children learn you never communicate on any issue, they will play “hide and seek” game with your minds. It is common for the mothers to offer unnecessary gifts and treats to prove their worth more than the father. You are spoiling the child’s life. When will they learn to fend for themselves, if they are able to get what they want when they need it? I don’t mean you deny them the basic needs and gifts, but let it be in moderation. When there is no restraint, they will demand a smartphone when you know very well they are not of age, failure to give them they start manipulating you by not giving you information about your spouse which you think is of help to your life. Don’t play into their game; you are still a parent not co-partners.
Understand their feelings and guide them
The emotional feelings of the children after divorce cannot be overlooked. The sadness, isolation bitterness, and low self-esteem issues are just a few consequences. Deal with them as they arise and be honest with yourself when you need help. They are your children; let your ex also help to manage the emotions before it gets out of hand.
Constant talk and counsel, assist them to come to terms with the situation, of course, it is not easy, but with the support of both parents makes healing faster and easier.
Be consistent and steady with you emotions
You are also going through a trying moment; anger projection, bitterness, and resentment can take a toll on you due to unstable emotions. It has an impact on the children; when you have to cry, do it away from the children but in moderation to give you strength to still offer them your love-they need it most at this time. Never compromise on discipline and normal functioning of the house simply because of the tough times; it leaves a permanent mark on the child’s personality.
Take responsibility of the aftermath of the divorce
You did your best to stay together, but all signs were that it was never meant to be. It takes two to tangle, take the time to look at your character and personality which could be a hindrance to a happy marriage. Accept the situation and deal with the consequences with a positive attitude so as not to emotionally drain you. Dust yourself for the battle ahead of you, it is not easy but with the right support system around you, you will overcome.
Having to see your ex doing better or worse than when you were with him or her requires a strong heart especially if you still have feelings for your ex. Children deserve the best from both parents despite the new family arrangement. The success of co-parenting is evident in the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of the children and their partners. You have minimal worries of the gap your ex-partner leaves; he or she has the right time to fulfill them during their visiting times.