24
Oct 17

How to Talk to Your Child About Divorce

Divorce is a very tricky subject, especially when you and your spouse decide to split, but still need to tell your child. Although the conversation is going to be tough, there are certain things you can do to ensure your child is fully aware of what’s happening and doesn’t feel as if you are attacking them in any way. When it comes to talking to your child about a divorce, here are a few steps you and your spouse should follow.

 

Do it together.

Even if the divorce isn’t amicable, it’s still very important you and your spouse talk to your child about the divorce together. This way, you are still providing a united front for your child, and you are giving them the ability to ask either of you questions without allowing one parent to sabotage the conversation or try and sway the child into feeling a certain way. Pick a time and a place where you can have your child’s undivided attention, and then use that as a time to tell your child about the decision the two of you have made. Even if you don’t agree, it’s still important you both talk with your child without arguing or pointing blame, as this isn’t beneficial to the conversation.

 

Answer the questions.

Your child is going to have a lot of questions after hearing that their parents are splitting up, so it’s important you allow your child to ask questions and then answer them honestly. For instance, your child will likely want to know the reason why as well as if there was something they did wrong. Reassure your child this isn’t their fault, and then tell them that the two of you just cannot make it work together anymore. Some questions may be difficult for you to answer, but do the best you can to give your child the straightest answers possible.

 

Prepare them for the changes.

During a divorce, things in your child’s life are going to change, so you need to make them aware about what’s going to happen. For instance, if one parent will have sole custody of the child, it’s important for the child to know who they will be living with and where, as well as how often they’ll see the other parent. If all of this has yet to be determined, tell your child that you will plan to share time with each parent as best as you can until an arrangement has been made by the courts. Should this divorce also result in your child needing to move or switch schools, this is also information you will want to let them know.

 

Offer them someone to talk to.

Chances are your child may be angry with you, which means they are not going to want to talk to you. While you will need to give them time to process their emotions, you also need to make sure they are not penting all this anger up inside. Be sure you are willing to give them someone to talk to, whether a family friend, a relative, or even a professional child counselor. Having someone to share feelings with can help your child work through their issues around the divorce and make it healthier for everyone in the long run.

 

Be prepared for their reaction.

Children can get sad, angry or act like they don’t care, and while you can’t assume to know how your child will react, it’s necessary for you to be prepared for any reaction. Make sure that you and your soon-to-be-ex hold that united front and don’t let your child get out of control.

Talking about divorce with your child is not something you ever hoped to do, but when it becomes a reality, using these tips can make it easier on everyone.


13
Oct 17

How to Make Shared Parenting Work

Studies have shown that shared parenting is the best option for children after a divorce. That’s because shared parenting allows the child to still have a relationship with both parents, which is beneficial for their well-being. However, shared parenting requires both parents to make an effort that puts the child’s best interests in mind and forces the two of you to work together in a way that works for everyone. If you have recently experienced shared parenting, here are a few tips that will help you and your ex make it work in the best possible way.

 

Communicate

The best way for you and your ex to make this shared parenting work is to communicate effectively with one another. This allows you to share important information regarding your child and keeps you both on the same page regarding how your child is being raised. For instance, open communication allows you to discuss your child’s schedule as well as anything you may want to discuss, such as your child’s college plans, their most recent group of friends, their health issues, etc.

Communicating can be done in whatever way works best for the two of you. For instance, if you and your ex communicate better via text, then use that as your method of communication. If you prefer to talk things out, then set aside time every week to have a phone call or meet in person to discuss your child. As long as you have an open line of communication that works, you’ll be able to raise your child in the best possible way.

 

Stay United

Even though you don’t live in the same household, you and your ex need to stay united when it comes to raising your child. If one of you is more lenient than the other, it can make your child start to desire less time with you, and that’s not fair. Be sure the both of you have the same rules at your house regarding curfew, friends, and general everyday rules. By doing this, you’ll ensure your child is being raised as if you were in the same house.

In addition to having the same rules, you need to stay united when decisions are made by the other parent. For instance, if your ex grounded your child from their phone, then be sure child is still grounded from his/her phone when at your house. If you disregard the other parent’s rules, it shows your child that the two of you can be separated, and this can open you up to dealing with other issues as your child gets older.

 

Follow the Agreement

Chances are the court system or mediator has created an agreement for you and your ex to follow. If both of you can follow this agreement in the best possible way, it will ensure there aren’t any issues in the future. However, because situations change, it’s often possible changes will need to be made to the agreement. By staying open with the other parent and ensuring these changes are made in a legal way, you can help make your shared parenting plan work effectively for everyone involved.

Shared parenting can be tough to accomplish, but it’s important for your child. Work hard with the other parent to ensure you’re both doing what you can to raise your child in the best possible way.


09
Oct 17

5 Mistakes Parents Make When Getting Divorced

On your wedding day, you never think that you and the love of your life, your soul mate, your partner in crime will ever get divorced; however, as you get older, things change, people change, and divorce becomes a reality. If you have kids, it puts a bigger strain on the divorce, but it’s important to remember that your child always comes first. Unfortunately, divorce brings up a lot of heated emotions, and many parents find themselves making mistakes they’ll soon regret. If you are in thinking about or in the middle of a divorce, here are five mistakes not to make.

Mistake #1: Talking Bad About Each Other

People get divorced for a variety of reasons, and sometimes this makes one parent feel passionately angry towards the other parent. Regardless of what happened or how you feel, you need to remember that the other parent is still a parent of your child, and your child needs to see you and that parent getting along and being respectful. Speaking bad about the other parent or trying to put your child in the middle as a spy will only turn out to cause problems, and this could also be stressful for your child and make them lose respect for you. If you really want to talk about your feelings, it’s better to do so with the help of a counselor.

Mistake #2: Being Greedy

Obviously your child is your whole world, and the last thing you want to do is lose time with that child. However, divorce means having to allow your child to spend time with each parent, which means you need to give up some of that time with your child to the other parent. During the divorce proceedings, you may try to take out your feelings towards your ex by trying to fight for sole custody or trying to limit the amount of time they have with the child. Although you may feel some initial satisfaction from this, remember that it’s only doing your child harm not to spend time with both parents, so don’t be greedy just to stick it to your ex.

Mistake #3: Avoiding Legalities

If you have an amicable divorce, you may try to decide things like visitation or child support arrangements on your own; however, this creates plenty of loopholes that can come back to be a problem in the future. In fact, according to Raleigh lawyers Marshall & Taylor LLC, “child support arrangements can become difficult even after the divorce is finalized.” Even if you don’t want to go through the hassle of court, you can always opt for mediation to try and settle your situation in the best way. This not only allows you to do things more amicably, but it’s also legally binding, which keeps both you and your ex protected should you need it.

Mistake #4: Internalizing

As an adult, you take on a lot of responsibilities and stresses, and divorce will only add to that. Even if you feel as if the divorce isn’t affecting you, it may just not be something you’re noticing. Be sure that you are not internalizing your feelings and instead are seeking the help you need to make this smoother on you. If this requires you to seek professional counseling, then do so. If you need to ask friends or family members for assistance, then do so. Nobody is expecting you to walk away from this divorce without a struggle, and asking for help is better for you and your child.

Mistake #5: Hiding it

Your child may not need to know the gory details about your divorce, but you don’t need to try and pretend that everything is fine if it’s not. Once you and your ex decide that divorce is the option you’re going with, you need to talk with your child about. Explain why you are getting divorced and what will happen in the future. Be sure to constantly reinforce the divorce is not their fault and there’s nothing they could do to make it work. Be sure to explain that they will still see both parents and what changes, if any, will happen in their life, such as if they will be moving, going to a new school, etc. Keep in mind that divorce can be stressful on your child, so be sure you are prepared to have them talk with a professional if it needs to be done.

Nobody wants to go through divorce, especially with kids, but if you do, be sure to avoid these mistakes.

 

 

 

 


02
Oct 17

Post-Divorce Parenting: Rules You Should Both Follow

Getting divorced sucks, but getting divorced with children sucks even worse. You don’t want to make your children unhappy or stressed, but staying in a loveless marriage for the sake of your children can actually do more harm than good. If you’ve already gotten divorced, it’s important for you and your ex to still be actively involved in your child’s life. This means that, even though you may have differences with each other, you still need to act as a team and indulge in post-divorce parenting together. Here are rules you both should follow to ensure your children are happy, safe, and healthy even after the divorce.

 

Communicate often.

Regardless of your personal feelings toward your ex, you both need to communicate with one another, whether through phone calls, emails, or text messages. This way, you can both be sure you’re aware of everything going on in your child’s life, from sports schedules, to after-school activities, to their general well-being. Make it a point to keep each other in the loop when you hear of something regarding your child, or maybe schedule a weekly call with one another to discuss anything you deem is important.

 

List you both as contacts.

It’s more common today for parents to either be divorced or never married, so schools and organizations have started to separate the parental boxes on forms for children. Whether you’re signing your child up for school or an after-school activity, be sure you both are listed as contacts. This way, if important emails or text messages are sent out regarding news or schedule changes, each of you can be in the know and won’t have to rely on the other parent to keep you informed.

 

Don’t put your child in the middle.

It may be hard for you to keep your feelings to yourself, but you need to do it for your child’s sake. Do not ever put your child in the middle of a spat between you and your ex, and do not ever talk bad about the other parent in front of your child. They love the other parent unconditionally, and it’s not your place to try and ruin that relationship just because you have your own feelings or agenda.

 

Put your child first.

It’s easy for parents to become selfish and want more time with the child, but that’s not fair and you need to remember to put your child first. For instance, be sure you have a parenting agreement in place that delivers a solid child custody agreement between the two of you. Be fair with this agreement to ensure the child has equal time with both parents, including on holidays and on birthdays. Although you may not want to give up time with your child, you need to understand that your child benefits from having time with both parents, so suck it up and make it equal.

 

Make decisions together.

Of course you don’t have to talk to your ex about everything your child wants to do when with you, but when it comes to big decisions, it’s important to make them both together. For instance, if your child wants to go away with friends for the weekend after prom, be sure you and your ex discuss it together. If your child’s doctor is suggesting a certain medication, treatment, or surgery for some type of illness, be sure to make that decision together.

 

Post-divorce parenting is going to be tough, but that doesn’t mean the two of you can’t make it work for your child’s sake. By following these rules, you can create a better relationship with one another that benefits your child.