28 December, 2008

Help Your Children Live With Separation & Divorce - Grow Up So Your Children Can

This is incredible advice and since we can all always use a little reminder regarding, I'm copy/pasting it here...

(While again, strongly noting that abusive situations follow an entirely different set of rules, this although good advice could very well be extremely dangerous for those dealing with an abuser, protection must always be safeguarded and at the first and forefront.)

BOTH parents in your children's lives is vital. What is even more important is that you back off and stop to think of how you are using your children to hurt the other parent. If you are in this category I strongly suggest you seek professional advise as you are damaging your children and hurting yourself. Divorces can be bitter, but what gives you the right to use your children as pawns to get what you want, hurt the other parent and inevitably prolong your children's healing. Contact with the other parent can be very painful and that's one reason why parents need to rely on friends and other support networks to work through difficult feelings. Remember, too, that time can be a great healer.
However difficult it may be, working together as parents while you are separating as a couple is so very important that it takes priority in the steps of your children's health and well-being. When children are involved, your divorce ends the marriage, not the family. Your relationship as parents continues and you as the adults have to ensure your children that you are the responsible adults and will do everything in your power to create a successful future.

The key task for parents as your marriage/relationship ends is to work toward building a cooperative parenting arrangement that:
- NEVER uses your children as pawns
- Always ensure that your children are seeing the other parent regularly
- Protect your children from adult conflict
- Encourage a positive happy relationship with the co-parent
- Model to your children a nurturing behavior
- Always provide your children with a stable and secure environment
- NEVER speak ill of the other parent ever when the children could hear
- Remember actions speak louder than words...your children can feel the anger...this is no way to raise your children

Children are used as messengers to relay issues about money from one parent to the next. Being used as spies to find out what the other parent is doing, seeing and behaving. Bottom line is that your children should never be involved in any issues that are adult related. If you can't speak respectfully to the other parent when your children are around....then don't. Wait until they are safely out of hearing distance or use e-mail...do anything but arguing, speaking rudely and disrespectful. This beats down your children's spirit and soul. They are a part of each parent. When you run down your children's other parent you are running a part of them down...and believe it that is exactly how they feel. This leads to your children having to lead two lives and eliminates truthful communication with you. They don't want to hurt you by saying they had fun at daddy's for fear something cruel about the other parent will come out of your mouth. They will feel guilty about loving the other parent for fear you will feel hurt...get over it. Your children have a right to love and have fun with the other parent. Would you rather they didn't? Who would this satisfy? Most children are resilient and highly adaptive. With care and nurturing, your children will adapt to separation and the new family arrangements. However, if your children witness a lot of ongoing parental conflict such as their parents shouting or threatening each other, their emotional development can be damaged. This is plain cruel.

Keeping adult conflicts away from your children is one of the most important things you can do. In particular, using your children as a way to punish the other parent is especially destructive for children of all ages. Parents who use their children as a way to hurt the other parent use all sorts of damaging behaviors, such as denying the other parent's access to the children, telling your children about the other parent's faults, or lying about the other parent's actions or behaviors. No exception, these tactics damage your child's health and well-being much more than the other parent and it stalls you from moving on.

Your children will do best after separation and divorce when both parents remain involved in their lives. Both the mother and father are important to your children for emotional support, protection, guidance, gender identity and their basic trust and confidence in themselves and in the world. Parents play a valuable role in child rearing that must not be taken away from them. The only thing your children should be concentrating on after the separation/divorce is to develop a separate relationship with each parent, and to spend time with each of them.

It's common for a mother or father to have strong negative feelings about the other parent that she or he feels it is in the best interests of their children to prevent the other person from seeing them. Although you may feel this is being protective, it will harm your children's emotional growth and development. Sometimes continuing the parent-child relationship is not advisable for example, when there is child abuse, spousal abuse or severe psychiatric illness. Seek professional help to make arrangements that are in the best interests of your children.

Working together as parents means sharing responsibility for your children's care and developing a way of making decisions that affect their health, education and welfare. If you can't have a civilized relationship with the other parent, try to think of your relationship as having two parts. There is the part of the relationship, which caused and may still be causing anger, grief and anguish. The other part is the parental relationship, which will continue. It's in the best interest to make it workable for your children.

Do your best (whether or not the other parent is...it's better that your child has one parent that is working to make their lives better than none) to achieve some kind of workable relationship for your children. Try to:

1. Have respect for the other parents differences
2. Let the focus be the children, not on what the other parent has or is doing
3. Always settle disagreements through compromise
4. Avoid making assumptions about the other parent's intentions or actions
5. keep your agreements and promises (such as making child support payments on time, picking up and returning children on time).

Remember that the most important thing is that you are cooperating for your children's sake. Continue to keep conflict away from your children's ears and eyes. Eventually, your relationship with the other parent may become easier and you may develop a new understanding of each other.

One of the key ways to develop and maintain a good co-parenting relationship is to make a written parenting plan that is agreed upon by both parents. A plan has a number of advantages and can help ensure that the children are well cared for by both parents. A written agreement that outlines specific arrangements and understanding of responsibilities helps reduce assumptions and misunderstandings. Also, a lot of planning and organization goes into moving children from one household to another. For example, your child may want to take his fish with him, or needs a clean uniform for a game the next day. Managing these kinds of details requires planning. If you're organized, it can reduce the chances of arguing with the other parent over little things. Whatever the situation you find yourself in; there are always several options for resolving disputes. There are counselors, family mediators, and family lawyers who can help you choose the best course of action based on your particular situation. Some of the points have been repeated...they are worth repeating.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Laval_Denny


  1. I'm glad you posted this. When parents think about the kids first they find a special place in my heart. My parents divorced when I was 12 and they always kept me first and I thank them for it. It's helped me to become a healthy, well-adjusted adult. Here is a great resource for dealing with children and divorce. I hope it helps your readers when they most need it...and most of all I hope it helps their children.


  2. Antonio, that is such a fabulous site! You are most definitely my blessing of the day for having shared it here! TY! xoxoxo

    Most definitely shall I share it here as well as at the network non-profit I've co-founded, http://peace4missing.ning.com

    And, of course, across the net, this is really great...honestly, thank you ever so much!

  3. I am glad to be one of several visitors on this great Blog.

    If you are looking for Mediation Services then visit our website www.barclaydevere.co.uk, we are the No.1 ledaing comapny

    in UK for providing any type of Mediator Services.

    Family Mediation service & Family Mediators