It’s seldom easy being a parent and things become a lot more complicated after a divorce. There are, however, some strategies you can employ to help you and your children cope and move forward:
- Don’t confuse your relationship with your ex with your relationship with your children—The discussions you had and will have with your ex are often best conducted outside the presence of your children. The topics will likely be sensitive and challenging, and your children will only be confused trying to understand the nuances and motivations. When you talk about your children with them there, they are likely to feel in the middle and will often try to act as peacemakers or, worse yet, consider themselves as the source of your conflict. It’s a no-win situation for everyone. Simple topics, such as when to pick up or drop off a child, can be discussed in front of the children, but it’s best, if there’s any disagreement, so simply agree to talk about it by phone at some other time.
- Be consistent with the rules you’ve established for your children—You don’t help your children by allowing them to engage in behaviors at your house that they couldn’t at the other parent’s house. It only serves to confuse them and make them hyper-vigilant, so that they don’t slip up when they are with your ex-spouse. Talk about the rules you want to set for your children and be willing to listen and compromise to promote the best interests of your children.
Always agree on visitation in advance, especially when there will be variations from the norm—Discuss holidays, birthdays and vacations far in advance, and make certain your children know what you have decided, so that they don’t have their own expectations and experience disappointment when the plans are different.
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To schedule a free, 30 minute telephone consultation to discuss your concerns, send us an e-mail or call our office at 201-343-0078. All calls and e-mails are returned within 24 hours. We’ll be at your side every step of the way