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Effective parenting tips during and after a divorce

The emotional upheaval from a divorce affects everyone in the family — not just the couple whose marital ties will be undone. The children will be deeply affected by the divorce, child custody orders and visitation schedules. Many of the feelings of sadness and bitterness the adults go through are from watching the changes in their children. There are ways to limit the stress and other damaging effects on children during a divorce.

First, avoid blaming each other for the divorce in front of the children. It does not matter who is to blame in the eyes of your children. All they want to know is that both parents will still be there for them and that is what is most important.

Second, realize the custody of the children is not something to win. When working out visitation schedules, ask if changing a schedule to accommodate the other parent’s request is really difficult or if it is something you don’t want to do to make your ex-spouse’s life a little more difficult. Compromising without fighting over the minor things will make a difference in your children’s eyes.

Third, remember each parent’s household will be different. You will need to give up control of your children when they are at your ex-spouse’s home. There may be different rules at the other parent’s home and as long as your children are not in danger, you will need to accept that those rules are part of being divorced.

Finally, realize that both parents will likely begin to date again. It can be difficult to watch and even more difficult to listen as your children talk about your ex-spouse’s new “friend.” It is highly advisable that one parent lets the other parent know they will be introducing someone new to the children and it is acceptable to ask to meet them.

Remember, you can always speak with an attorney if you feel you need to revisit child custody or visitation issues after a divorce.

Source:  foxnews.com, “4 tips for parents going through divorce” Tina Paone, Thomas Petrelli, Apr. 21, 2013

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