Managing a divorce while you try to protect your children is not easy. What are the ten things you can do to put your children first while you pioneer through a difficult separation process?
- Avoid disparaging the other parent. It is really hard on children to hear the parent they love talk badly about their other parent. Children are smarter than you think and they will make their own judgments.
- Use your best efforts to be stable and consistent. This will help your children because they have a solid reliable parent during times of extreme stress.
- Get a therapist for the children during the divorce. They may need outside counseling that you cannot provide.
- Put their interests first. Experts often say that the best parent is the one who minimizes stress for the children.
- Never use your children as a weapon. It will damage and hurt them.
- Try your hardest to co-parent even if you think your spouse is a jerk. It is very helpful to children to see their parents work cooperatively in their interests.
- Pick your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff. If your spouse fails to return the homework or an item of clothing you need to weigh up cost versus benefit of making a scene. If you can find an easy alternative solution try doing that first. It will save trauma for your children.
- Remember that your children are genetically linked to your spouse and you fell in love with them once. The children have the right to love the other parent because its essential for their healthy development that they do.
- Remember that it’s really hard to be a single parent and you do need space for yourself. Encourage the other parent to step up and participate even if you don’t approve of the way they do everything. You might provide healthy nutritious meals while your spouse may feed the children hamburgers and fries on the couch. Each parent offers something different but the children benefit from all the experiences with each parent.
- Love your children more than you hate the other parent. They are the innocent victims in the battle and you need to do your best to support them in every way possible so they can grow up healthy and happy.
Suzanne Griffiths is the President and Managing Shareholder at Griffiths Law P.C. She can be reached at Suzanne@griffihslawpc.com or 303-858-8090. www.griffithslawpc.com