When you’re a parent going through a divorce, you have to think about how each decision you make will affect your children. One thing that will make the situation much easier for everyone (especially your kids) is if you and your ex can work together on all the parenting matters.
Here are two big tips that can make the divorce process much simpler (and healthier for your children):
1. Communicate as clearly as possible with your co-parent at all times
You and your ex have to be able to communicate with each other for as long as you are still raising your children. This helps to ensure that there aren’t any crossed wires and that you can work together to address any important issues with the children.
While some parents try to pass messages along to each other through the children, this isn’t ever a good idea. The children may not relay the messages properly. It also puts the children in a situation where they may feel “put in the middle” or even forced to choose sides.
If you and your co-parent don’t communicate well in person, it’s okay to use messages, emails and parenting apps. The exact form of communication matters less than its effectiveness.
2. When appropriate, include your children in your decision-making process
Children often feel powerless when their parents split up. Their lives are changing in big ways, and they have little control over the outcome. Giving them a voice — particularly once they are at an age where they want some measure of independence — can make them feel heard and less helpless. While you and your co-parent must always make the final call, letting your children weigh in on important decisions can give you insights and help everyone come to terms more easily with the final outcome.
A good parenting plan is essential when parents divorce. Working with an experienced advocate can help you identify a lot of areas of potential conflict and look for ways to prevent as many problems as possible.