Remaining positive during your divorce is difficult on a good day. This is especially true if you have children with your ex since there is more of an obligation to remain strong and maintain a routine. When you are a parent you do not have the luxury to have a personal meltdown or to drag your exes name through the mud.
Emotions are usually high during a divorce. There are court battles, hurt feelings, and a complete change in lifestyle that can make it difficult to stay positive. Not to mention, being friendly with your ex is probably the last thing you want to do.
However, for the sake of your children and their emotional and mental wellbeing, you must learn how to parent through divorce.
Taking an online marriage course, either solo or with your ex can have an outstanding effect on how you parent throughout your divorce.
After all, even though you are no longer a couple, you still need to learn to communicate and work as a team to raise your children successfully. Here are 5 tips for positive parenting through divorce.
Put the kids first
When hurt feelings are involved, this can much easier be said than done. But in order to make your parenting life a success during your divorce, you must make the decision to put your children first.
From here on out when you make decisions, ask yourself what is in the best interest of your child.
For example, say you are hurt by your spouse’s decision to file for divorce. You did not want the marriage to end. Or perhaps your spouse betrayed you by straying outside the marriage. In retaliation and despite your ex being a good parent, you decide to file for full custody of the children or try and prevent your ex from seeing them.
Is this truly in the best interest of your child? Not at all. Children function better when they are in contact with both of their parents. In fact, studies show that when living in a single-parent household, children are more likely to develop mental health issues, do worse in school, and have trouble with future employment.
Keep the lines of communication open
Communication is the backbone of a good relationship, even if it is not a romantic one.
From schooling to self-esteem, children are affected in many ways when their parents undergo divorce. By keeping the lines of communication open with your children, you will remind them that they are not alone. Maintaining healthy communication with your ex is equally as important. They may not be your favorite person right now, but it is still important for you to learn how to communicate about your children in a way that is respectful and dignified.
By taking an online marriage course, you and your ex can learn new methods of communication during this new phase of your lives.
Remember that communicating about the wellbeing of your children does not mean that you have to be friends with your ex, especially if doing so would cause you mental anguish.
Have a good attitude
Positive parenting is more than simply treating your ex-partner with respect and communicating with your kids. It’s about having a good attitude.
You might be thinking: A good attitude? I just lost my home, my family, and the stability in my life! What’s so good about it?
While this may be true, remember that your children are watching every move you make. While it’s only natural to have ups and downs during a divorce, the way you present yourself in front of your children can have a positive impact on them.
Studies show that parental outlook has a direct impact on their child’s everyday behavior.
If you are walking around your home moping and acting like your life is over, your child will mimic your outlook. However, if you approach your new living situation as an opportunity for personal growth and strive to see the positive it can have a good impact on your little one.
Practice respectful parenting
Badmouthing your ex may feel cathartic at the moment, but it could be very damaging for your children to hear you speaking badly about their parent. Do your best to avoid speaking about your ex in front of your kids.
Instead, make it your goal to practice respectful parenting.
- Do not show up late for pick-up/drop-offs
- Be flexible
- Inform your ex about the important goings-on in your child’s life
- Discuss house rules and responsibilities with your ex. This way your child has the same sense of structure no matter which house they are staying at.
- Do not use your child as a form of leverage or blackmail to your ex
- Be cordial when you speak in person
- Take an online marriage course to help you maintain a mutual respect
By taking online marriage courses, you will promote personal growth both as a single person and in your co-parenting relationship with your ex. You will learn the importance of compassion during this difficult time.
Online marriage courses also stress the need for teamwork, especially during stressful situations like divorce.
Keep kids out of adult conversations
Your child does not need to know that their other parent is a cheater, a liar, hides money, or any other negative quality.
What happened between you and your spouse is between the two of you, not your child. They should not know the ins and outs of your breakup.
If your children are adults it is up to your discretion to inform them what happened to dissolve the marriage. But as children or teenagers, they should be kept out of adult conversations and decisions.
Studies show that children often assume the responsibility to fix their parent’s broken relationship. This causes severe stress and anxiety that can be emotionally and physically harmful. By keeping your kids out of your divorce (as much as possible) you will improve your child’s mental health.
Divorce is hard on everyone involved, especially your children. But you can still be positive parents and role models to your children during a difficult separation. Even though you are no longer a romantic couple, taking an online marriage course (together or separately) can help you and your ex learn to navigate parenting during your divorce.
About Sylvia Smith
Sylvia Smith is a writer who likes to write about relationships and how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. She is currently associated with Marriage.com. She is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships. By taking purposeful and intentional action, Sylvia feels any relationship or marriage can be transformed and truly enjoyed.