Every divorcing couple goes through different degrees of civility and struggle. Higher animosity between parents can lead to difficult co-parenting. Sometimes, it might feel impossible to co-parent and handle certain situations.
Regardless of your ex-spouse, you can choose how you want to parent your children. Here are some common mistakes you should try to avoid when parenting through divorce.
Mistake #1: Fighting over Children’s Belongings
Money is often the source of conflict between divorcing parents. Your children may have enjoyed a lot of toys and clothes when you were together. But, now all that stuff needs splitting in half. Parents often start fighting over what all they can keep.
And, that becomes a problem when children start feeling guilty for shifting their stuff from one household to another. Your children should never feel like they are the reason behind a conflict.
So, we encourage divorcing parents to figure out a simple way to manage children’s stuff between split households.
Mistake #2: Making Children Talk on your Behalf
Some parents carry grudges against one another through the divorce process and refuse to communicate with their ex-spouse. They make their children mediate between them and that might become a cause of their stress.
Putting a child in the middle of your communication can damage their emotions and trust in you as their parent. Instead, family lawyers for men in Montclair suggest taking alternative roads to direct communication- emails or text messages.
Mistake #3: Treating Children as Grown-Ups
Parents going through a divorce might feel tempted to lean on their children for emotional support. But, remember that as parents, you are responsible for your children’s comfort during these traumatic times, and not the other way around.
Parents may also unknowingly try to replace their spouse with their children by having them do household chores and run errands. Children need the security that comes when their parent can handle household responsibilities on their own.
Mistake #4: Having a Haphazard Custody Arrangement
A child’s life can get complicated when there is no schedule of their stay. A fixed custody arrangement can ease your child into a new routine and make the change bearable. However, when parents have chaotic work routines, the custody arrangement might vary one week to the next.
In these cases, make sure you have a calendar in your child’s room show when they will be with each parent. This helps eliminate the unknown and eases your child’s stress.
Mistake #5: Talking ill About the Other Parent
That might seem like an obvious-to-avoid, but some parents struggle with it. Children snoop in on conversations you have with your ex-spouse while going through a divorce. They are always curious to know what’s happening.
So, even if you never talk ill about your spouse directly in front of them, they might know! It is obvious you need to vent out all feelings to some friend or acquaintance. Just be sure your children are not around when you do that.
Children value both parents equally and it might break their heart knowing their parents don’t respect one another.
Parenting through a divorce can be a major challenge. Know that you are in control of your emotions, behavior, and actions. Don’t let your ex-spouse dictate your mood. Choose to parent with an open and amicable attitude. Avoid these parenting mistakes and you will be off to a good start.
About the Author: Brad M. Micklin, Esq., is the lead family attorney Montclair and managing member at The Micklin Law Group, LLC. For more than 22 years, he has helped men through some of the toughest, most emotional experiences in their lives, including child custody battles.