Responsible parenting for divorced parents
Kids should not have a stressful childhood because their parents are too stubborn to co-parent effectively. Divorced parents need to learn to communicate and raise their kids together even though they are separated. Of course, it is easier said than done, but it is possible and necessary.
5 tips for divorced parents
Kids need consistency in order to learn, so rules and boundaries need to be the same at both households. It will be confusing to the child and a stressor between parents if the rules differ.
Don’t make kids pick sides
Parents, especially of younger children, should plan where the kids will spend holidays and weekends. Forcing the kids to choose will make them feel like they are picking sides and hurting feelings.
Once kids become comfortable with the divorce, they will figure out ways to take advantage of it. Kids will tell one parent one thing and the other parent something different in order to get their way; parents need to communicate so this does not happen.
It is completely normal for there to be issues between parents after a divorce – but kids don’t need to know this. One parent should never talk badly about the other to their child. This only hurts the child.
Be an authority figure
The urge to be a friend rather than a parent is strong after divorce. Each parent wants to be “the cool one” and have “the fun house,” but that is not healthy for kids. Divorced or not, parents are authority figures, not friends.
Co-parenting after divorce is hard and mistakes are going to happen; parents need to be honest with their kids when they make a mistake and apologize to them. Kids are understanding and forgiving; they may even have some advice.
Co-parenting after divorce is all about the kids—remember to separate feelings from behavior and remain kid-focused.