28 Dos & Don'ts Of Divorced Parenting

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28 Dos & Don'ts Of Divorced Parenting [EXPERT]
How to be the best parent possible during one of the most challenging experiences ever.

25. DON'T pawn your child off to relatives or babysitters for the majority of your visitation time. They need and want to spend time with you. This will build a foundation of trust and strengthen your relationship with your child in the long run. Children desperately want the time and attention of their parents. Dating After Divorce: How Soon Is Too Soon?

26. DON'T probe and ask your child questions about the other parent, the other parent's home, how they are spending their time and who they are dating. This puts your child in a very difficult position and is incredibly unfair to them. This can be emotionally harmful to your child and should be avoided at all costs.

27. DON'T make your child feel as though they are abandoning you or hurting you when they are spending time with your ex. This will not make them love you more. It will only make them worry about you and feel responsible for your feelings. This is very damaging to children and has long-term emotional consequences.

28. DON'T make a decision about your child to try to hurt your ex. While you may accomplish your goal to hurt your ex, you are hurting your child more so. You are going to create great feelings of hurt, disappointment and guilt for your child. Over time this will damage your relationship with them, as they will eventually see through what you are doing. The 10 Emotional Stages Of Divorce

Using your child as a weapon against your ex can become emotionally abusive to your child and will have long-term negative consequences. Parents often deny doing this while the children are clearly exhibiting all of the symptoms of the loyalty bind they are in. Even the most cooperative parenting with an ex can produce this loyalty bind. Imagine when there is hostility between parents, what a dilemma that puts your child in.

Children are very intuitive and can "feel" the dynamics between you and your ex. Don't assume that the exchanges you have with your ex does not impact them or that the divorce is not affecting your childen. It is. You can minimize the impact of this by keeping their needs and best interest at the focus of all interactions with your ex.

Cooperative parenting and supporting your ex through the parenting process is imperative to help your child deal with their feelings about your separation and the impact it has had on them. Acknowledge your children's feelings and how hard it must be for them to deal with their emotions. This will help your children know you understand and care about what they are going through.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Leslie Petruk

Marriage and Family Therapist

Leslie Petruk is a Child & Family Therapist

Location: Charlotte, NC
Credentials: BCC, LPC, MA, NCC
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