Divorce is not just a life-altering situation for former spouses but it greatly affects children as well. Children must go through the often-sensitive and tedious process of a child custody battle. They also have to adjust to limited and less-than-ideal interactions with their parents. Often, children get lost in the shuffle and lose their sense of security. However, there are three ways for co-parents to address the situation and make the most out of their custody arrangement.
First, the children need time to adjust to the parenting arrangement, especially when it comes to visitation and relocation. There may be instances when children want to stay at home during the weekend. Or they may find it stressful to travel to a parent's house. Parents should be understanding and give their children enough time to process the changes that have occurred because of the divorce.
Second, co-parents should never fight in front of their children. Co-parents should bear in mind that they divorced so that everyone would get a chance to live in a happier environment. Getting on each other's nerves does not benefit the parents or the children. It is important to keep control over emotions during stressful times.
Third, it is not always beneficial to pretend that everything is fine if it isn't. There are times when children should see their parents exert an effort to try to overcome the challenges. This does not necessarily mean that children should be subjected to emotional outbursts and financial troubles, but parents should share the reality of a normal family life, acknowledge mistakes and refocus their goals with the children.
Philadelphia divorced parents should realize that co-parenting is a work in progress. In addition to putting in the effort, parents need support and encouragement. As difficult as it may be, the rewards of effective co-parenting are worth it. Parents will not only look out for the best interests of their children but they will also develop a more mature relationship with each other.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Strategies Are Dumb (Just Do This)," Erin Mantz, March 31, 2014