The Top Mistakes That Divorced Parents Make
Being divorced with kids is difficult. Yes....Two opinions....Two different lives...that are now intertwined with different groups of people. Our children are stuck in the middle of two worlds. Even though you and your spouse are now apart, hopefully with time, you can forgive the mistakes you've both made, and live in peace. Along your journey, you DO have the ability to reverse the damage that you may have unintentionally caused your children. Here are some tips I found at http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/top-5-mistakes-divorced-parents-make to making the best of your situation.
CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER BE THE MESSENGER BETWEEN PARENTS
I know all too well how hard it is to communicate with an ex. But....I would have to agree with the experts when they say, "Don't make your child the messenger." Your children should never have to deliver messages back and forth to Mom and Dad. Parents tend to spout off how they feel about that situation to very innocent ears. Speaking to each other when necessary can help you avoid opening old wounds, and keep you on track for your child rearing goals.
DON'T TELL YOUR KIDS WHAT TO THINK
Even though you may have very strong opinions about your ex about what they have or haven't done, what they are or are not doing, your kids still love you for the parent they know. Don't break up their world just so they GET why you're doing what you're doing. If your kids have an opinion about the divorce, you don't have to have an answer. You just have to be there to listen.
TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILD
Kids need to feel that they are understood. Do your best to NOT criticize your ex. One of the hardest things to do is to control what your Teen children may be saying in front of your younger children, should they feel anger towards a certain parent. Although this is hard to control, sometimes you have to take the younger kids to the side, and tell them that their opinions don't have to be the same. Maybe the older child had an issue with the parent. You can still love your sibling and your parent, and your viewpoint doesn't have to change for you to be able to get along.
REPAIR THE DAMAGE YOU'VE CAUSED
You can help fix the mistakes you've made unintentionally. If you've made mistakes you can do the following to help them heal and understand what happened and why:
- Apologize for making mistakes. You can fix a lot by explaining briefly why you made mistakes and how you're going to try to act from this point forward.
- Explain in detail what you've done wrong...commit to changing your behavior.
- Give your child a specific signal- If you happen to start slipping back into your old ways, give your child some sort of signal they can give you, like raising their hand or making a gesture to remind you to stop.
- Stick to your new plan. There's nothing worse than telling a child you PROMISE you're going to do something, and you continue to make promises that never come true. Don't make promises you can't keep.