Time and time again, studies show that what works best for the children of divorced parents is when both parents strive to have open communication with their child.
If your split was acrimonious, a joint custody arrangement can feel uncomfortable. You may have a painful history that you are reminded of whenever you and your ex have to communicate — and because you have children, you will need to communicate on a regular basis. Discussing shared decisions and having to see each other at drop off and pick up times can be quite unpleasant, at first. But co-parenting is something you and your ex can and must learn to do, if you want your children to thrive.
Children need to feel loved and wanted in both households, with realistic limits, appropriate discipline, and positive reinforcement. Children should be shielded from their parents battles, disagreements and ongoing and resentments.
Here are some dos and don’t for parenting post-divorce:
Do not push your children, overly or covertly, to choose one parent over the other.
Do not send messages to your ex through your children.
Do not use your children to “report back” on your ex.
Do not criticize the other parent’s choices in front of your children.
Do not recount for your children grievances you had or still have from the marriage.
Do not explain to your children the logistics of your divorce or your financial agreement.
Do not make your children your confidant, your caregiver or your emotional companion.
Do strive to ensure your children feel wanted and loved in your home.
Do be patient if your children act out or regress slightly for a period of time. It is how children deal with the stress of divorce.
Do reach out for professional support for your child if he or she is still having trouble after several months.
Do work out a relationship with your ex where you can communicate without rancor about issues involving parenting and the children.
Do keep in mind the positive things your ex brings to his or her parenting role.
There are numerous resources for parenting after a separation or divorce, including therapists, counselors, books, websites, and mediators. If you have concerns about your child custody arrangements, your spousal support or other issues regarding your divorce, speak with a qualified Denver child custody lawyer.