Divorce can be difficult, especially if children are involved. However, if Texas parents are willing to put their children first, they will be able to minimize any damage that a divorce could potentially have on their children.
If possible, having both parents involved in the children’s lives can alleviate the stress that the children will feel about this major change in their lives. Co-parenting between divorced couples can work, if both parents are willing to view the arrangement as a business venture. This means treating the other parent with the same respect that he or she would give to a client or colleague.
A child custody arrangement is just the beginning. Creating a parenting plan could help parents see things from the children’s perspective. A parenting plan could include such details as a mission statement, how joint parenting decisions are made, explaining to children why the marriage ended, how things will work and how each parent intends to improve their relationship with their children. The benefit of a parenting plan would be to help children understand their new circumstances and find comfort in their parents’ love.
Minimizing conflict is particularly important. In fact, it is often the intensity of the parents’ conflict that will affect the children after a divorce, not necessarily the divorce itself. As a result, children can thrive after a divorce if the parents are committed to their wellbeing. For volatile couples this may be difficult but the following suggestions can be helpful in this regard:
- Communicate through email and not through the children
- Address only one or two issues at a time
- Do not always believe what the children say
- Say nice things about each other
- Encourage the children to enjoy time spent with the other parent
- Do not speak badly about the other parent to your children
Focusing on the children’s needs can go a long way to helping children through what can be a challenging situation.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “The Child-Focused Divorce,” Sept. 6, 2011