Although part of you likely wants to move on in life and leave all the nasty divorce issues behind you, you also realize that as parents, you and your former spouse must continue to interact because you have children together. It’s likely you never thought you would be standing before a judge to determine where your children would spend their holidays. However, things happen, and life changes, sometimes in very unexpected ways.
Your ultimate goal now is to learn how to relate to your former spouse in a peaceful fashion that keeps your children’s best interests in mind. The last thing you want is to return to court over and over again every time a parenting disagreement arises. You also do not want your children to think you and their other parent care more about fighting each other than you do about them. There are several things you can to help keep post-divorce parenting stress levels to a minimum.
Remember it was your choice, not theirs
Divorce is an adult issue. Your kids did not make the decision to divorce, nor were they to blame for your marital problems. Making sure they understand that and remembering that they may need some extra love and attention as they adapt to their new lifestyle may help you keep the peace in your household. The following ideas may also be useful:
- If you and your former spouse agree on one thing, let it be that you don’t want to drag your kids into your grown-up problems. Try to keep discussions positive when children are present and try to refrain from arguing in front of them, especially if your argument is about them. This can go a long way towards helping everyone involved avoid major stress following divorce.
- When your children live with you, you may choose to set certain rules that may not exist at their other parent’s house, and that’s okay. By recognizing that each of you has the right to set boundaries and provide discipline, you may be able to avoid major problems. Then again, the two of you may also decide you want your household rules and regulations to align, which is also fine. In fact, such consistency between homes may help children fare better rather than having to adjust the way they live every time they switch houses.
- Children fare best when both parents remain actively involved in their lives following divorce. If you and your former spouse are willing to keep each other updated and share details of your kids’ lives, it will likely be better for the whole family. When children witness their parents’ willingness to cooperate and compromise for their sakes, they are more likely to feel emotionally secure and confident in their own abilities to survive their parents’ divorce.
No relationship is perfect, so being divorced doesn’t guarantee you and your former spouse will never disagree again simply because you no longer live together. However, if you run into obstacles and challenges along the way, do not think it is uncommon among those who have trod similar paths before you. It’s not so much about any dispute that might arise; rather, it is about how you handle such problems.
When you need outside support
If a particular issue causes stress and parents are unable to achieve peaceful solutions, many determine that litigation is necessary. Family law attorneys are used to helping parents find amicable solutions to their post-divorce problems.