Making that decision is never easy, and for those who divorce, about five years after the divorce, some wish they would not have divorced. They would just have talked and hung on a little longer for things to work out. However, divorcing when you have kids to take care of does not mean it is the end of it all. We look at some co-parenting tips for divorced parents with kids in view.
Co-parenting is key
Divorce weakens the parent-child bond and limits interpersonal skills. However, working together gives the kids a sense of belonging and a reason to call you still a mother or father. The best a parent can do to redeem themselves is to agree to co-parent with love and passion.
Divorced parents have to work together irrespective of the impending conflicts. Show the kids that divorce had nothing to do with them, and they can still get the care needed. Co-parenting reassures them of a better life even with a single parent.
Have shared responsibilities
You have equal responsibility to provide for the children whether you are married or not. These responsibilities include but are not limited to medical care, education, protection from harm, food, clothing, supervision, and control.
Coordinating visitations and planning for the children’s shopping, school events, holidays, and leisure activities like fishing or riding a bike is necessary. Shared responsibilities help ease the burden on one partner.
Counseling sessions as a co-parenting tip for divorced parents
Divorce is not a sweet affair when you have kids to co-parent. It can stress you down that path and make you feel like giving it up. The kids, cost, societal judgments, and stigma come with divorce. It is good to seek counseling and set your best foot forward as a parent.
The counseling sessions will be vital to a parent in that;
- It will help you be involved in your child’s life
- Adapt your new parenting to fit your child
- Establish and set rules even in the absence of one parent.
Children from divorced families go through stress and depression. Counseling helps the children to;
- Reduce their pain of feeling rejected, confused, guilty, and a sense of loss.
- Controlling their acting out
- Reduce risky behaviors such as boys being truants, abusing drugs, picking fights, or feeling withdrawn; girls may fight, self-harm, or become promiscuous and careless with self as they grow older.
Use mediation in case of conflict.
Even while you are apart, there would be conflicts on who does what concerning kids’ upbringing. Reach a basic level of agreement about your child’s welfare in education, health discipline, and general upbringing. It will help avoid conflicts from time to time because of unattended duties.
Don’t manipulate your partner.
Twisting the facts to prove that you are doing better in raising the kids than your partner only worsens the situation.Do not use kids to get what you want; instead, speak it out yourself.
Don’t use emotional blackmail, so your partner has to act in a certain way or make dramatic statements to make them feel guilt over their responsibility towards the kids.
Recognize and respect each other’s efforts.
However little effort your partner offers in taking care of the kids, appreciate it. Not every day do things work out as expected, but any action made should be respected. Whatever was not perfectly done will be done in a better way next time a chance arises.
Successful co-parenting communication
Communication with an ex-spouse can be unpleasant, especially if it was one of the critical components of your divorce. Research reveals that communication is one of the fundamental causes of divorce. However, when it comes to taking care of the kids, parents should not let miscommunication prevail.
Find the proper method of message delivery and the tone for effective communication. Things will move only when there is effective communication. Deal with communication barriers to avoid future blames on why kids aren’t having the best in life. Communication is vital in helping you work together as a team.
Pitfalls to avoid
Misaligned Societal values.
When both the divorced partners see values from a different perspective, then sharing core values can be detrimental and kill the aspirations of proper parenting. It becomes difficult to understand one another when we have minor unresolved issues. It is good to share them to eliminate future barriers to children’s upbringing.
The shift of attention from your kids to the other
Neglecting your children at the expense of your stepchild will only serve as emotional turmoil for them. It doesn’t imply your kids do not deserve your attention. Remembering to balance the care given to both parties will remove disparities.
While money is a huge part of parenting kids, it certainly isn’t the only factor needed to fulfill your responsibility as a parent. Therefore it should not be the reason for one’s irresponsible behavior. If you made them, you owe it to them.
No one else will feed, educate and teach your child moral values. Escaping responsibilities in favor of your partner will only escalate things and create more bruises in the already broken relationship. A parent should not run away from the financial burden of raising the kids.
Children and conflict in divorce
Allowing children to come in between is seen, especially when the children try to fix the problem by playing the marital doctors. They keep mum because they fear conflicts may arise due to their nagging and requests. Co-parent peacefully and allow children to enjoy their teenage hood.
Allowing children to assume an early parental role
Please do not allow children to carry the burden of making grocery lists, shopping lists, cooking, and even getting their younger ones ready for school. These practical activities, among others, are above the child’s ability and comprehension. It is only reasonable to give them tasks that teach them a sense of responsibility but not overburden them with neglected tasks.
Allowing children to play the part of emotional and practical caretakers of the family makes them develop emotional instability. It disrupts the kid’s educational achievements, denies them their social skills, and has limited interpersonal relations with peers.
Kids becoming the surrogate spouse.
Kids become your therapists and have to share in your problems. Divorced parents should not confide in children and use them as support partners. In their absentia, avoid criticism of the other partner around the kids.
Some children may offer to fill the vacuum, hoping they will feel valued, loved, and cared for. On the other hand, the parent will feel emotionally safe and wanted. Parents think everyone will benefit from this arrangement when in a real sense making children parentified has a negative impact.
Using kids to get emotional needs makes them emotionally drained and feel like they have a lot on their plates. When children act as surrogate parents, it fosters unhealthy dependence in their future relationships and makes kids have low self-worth and feel hopeless and helpless in life.
For the sake of the kids’ future, that commitment is still needed even when you are apart. Neglecting your kids deprives them of parental care and love. Pick the best parenting style required now that the kids will be lacking care from both of you. Do not let your divorce outweigh your responsibility as a parent.