It’s a fact of life that sometimes a marriage or partnership doesn’t stand the test of time. In some of these cases, children may be involved, which can complicate matters. However, it is possible for both members of a divorced couple to successfully work with each other in raising mature and healthy children, despite the separation of the family.
Communication Is Key
For the parents of a divorced child, communication is essential. Even if the divorce was not wholly amicable, parents must set aside personal feelings and keep in contact with each other to help set mutual strategies and goals. Having parents with two unique sets of rules, manners and procedures will only cause confusion and annoyance to a child. Work with your former partner in setting these goals and rules to ensure both parties can accommodate and agree that they are in the best interest of your child.
Know Their Struggles
Children need their family, even if separated. Beyond just required financial support, you need to make sure you help them through their struggles. Divorce can be a huge change for a child. Then, pile on top the regular challenges they face with school, friends and just growing up. Parents must be able to relate to their children and work together on solutions and messaging. Again, communication will be key in helping each parent stay on top of struggles and working together for the health of their child. It’s also worth knowing that kids, especially of divorcees, will often try to hide problems, so having both parents express interest in their activities and concern for their well-being may help them open up.
It is increasingly common for divorced couples to assume a more equal custody co-parenting arrangement, even up to a strict 50-50 split. While older schools of thought stressed the stability of a single home, new research is showing children readily adapt to split arrangements and value their equal time spent with both parents. Even though you are no longer together, you still need a family parenting plan. To make this work, the parents must be able and willing to communicate, work together and strategize to maintain consistency between the homes.
Divorce can be a difficult life event for both parents and children to experience. However, parents who work together can raise well-adjusted young children. Just do your best to set aside differences and difficulties, get help as needed, and show your children the love and joy they need.