Parenting With Love Through And After Your Divorce
Jan 29, 2014 05:24PM
● By Sherryl C. Vida, LMHC
Separation followed by divorce places much stress on Mom, Dad and your children. New challenges will be faced as you work out your plan for continued parenting of your children. The first challenge is often how to tell the kids that you are separating and will divorce. Children benefit from information shared with them. By sitting down with them together and explaining some basic information in terms they can understand you relieve much of the stress and insecurity they may feel. Remember that children are very observant and will pick up on your attitude and behavior towards each other long before you tell them.
Children will also benefit from parental cooperation. Do your best to keep personal conflict away from the children. Never involve them in your disagreements with each other. Kids do not need to be used to hurt your soon to be ex-spouse.
Children benefit from stability. Their schedule of what days and nights they will spend with each parent is just the beginning. Keep their daily schedule similar in each home, as well as, the same rules and expectations from each parent will contribute to stability and success for them. Considerations for time sharing should revolve around the ages, developmental stages, any special needs a child may have and your past involvement in their daily care. Imagine a parent who has traditionally acted as family breadwinner and disciplinarian wanting to give a seven-year-old a bath and shampoo their hair. When you must make big changes in your role as a parent, take it slowly and seek assistance from the other parent. Simply having Mom explain that Dad will now be doing some of the same things she used to do will benefit all.
The loving care and efforts you both put into your parenting plan will make this difficult transition time less stressful for all of you. You may want to use a mediator or a court approved Parenting Plan Coordinator to assist you in developing a sound plan that will serve your family well and will allow you, as parents, to continue to make important decisions for your children. Unfortunately, if you cannot create a workable plan between you the Judge will make those decisions.
There are several very good brochures for parents developed by the Association of Family And Conciliation Courts to help you through the process. Making Your Parenting Plan Work and A Guide For Joint Custody And Shared Parenting are excellent references and easy to understand.
Sherryl C. Vida is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Family Court Mediator and Florida Supreme Court approved Parenting Plan Coordinator. Her business, BEACHSIDE Mediation Services, LLC is located at 476 Highway A1A in Satellite Beach. For brochures call Beachside Mediation Services for a free copy at 321-626-7855. Visit MediateNotLitigate.net or BEACHSIDE Mediation on Facebook. 321-626-7855.