Life is difficult enough for kids, but when parents’ divorce, the sense of alienation and loss can be overwhelming. Though most parents of divorce really want what’s best for their children, many engage in behaviors (often thoughtlessly or unintentionally) that only exacerbate their children’s fears and insecurities. Here are some ways that you, as a parent of divorce, can help your children grow up well-adjusted, knowing they are loved.
Separate Your Relationship with Your Ex from Your Relationship with Your Child
You couldn’t get along with your ex—that’s why you got a divorce. But that shouldn’t be a part of your relationship with your children. You may still harbor anger or resentment toward your ex—don’t share that with your children. You will only force them to take sides, and they will always feel like they are on the wrong side.
There’s nothing to be gained, either, from disparaging your ex in front of or to your children. The best gift you can give your children is to support them in their love for their other parent.
Agree on Consistent Rules for Custodial and Non-Custodial Homes
You will have your own parenting styles—that’s to be expected. But don’t try to use relaxed disciplinary actions or the absence of rules be an attractive feature. It’s really an unspoken way of saying, “your mom/dad is an ogre and I really love you.” The opposite is more often the case—setting limits is generally a more loving gesture than allowing everything.
Agree on Special Visitation as Far in Advance as Possible
Summer vacations, holidays, birthdays and other special visitations should be discussed and agreed on far in advance. Your children may be anticipating spending Christmas or some other holiday in a certain way. The earlier they know what the plans are, the less likely they will have their hopes dashed.
Contact the Experienced New Jersey Family Law Lawyers at Lyons & Associates
Contact our office online or call us at 908-575-9777 to schedule a confidential consultation. Lyons & Associates, PC, serves the entire state of New Jersey including Somerville, Bridgewater, Somerset, Basking Ridge, Mendham and Morristown.