Leo Tolstoy opens his great novel, Anna Karenina, with the famous line: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its way.” There are many different reasons why a marriage might end in divorce. If you’ve been through this experience, your situation will have had its similarities and differences when compared with others.
However, when children are involved, there is a strong reason to maintain a healthy relationship and functional arrangements for parenting time with their spouse or partner in Denver. And despite having unique differences, there are some universal principles you can apply towards that goal. Here are some ways to help your children make the most of their parenting time.
Have a constructive approach
It’s important to acknowledge that both parents will have to deal with their own emotions and adjust to a new situation over time. Especially if the divorce is recent, there may still be a lot of issues that need to be worked out on both sides. Keep in mind that how you make the necessary adjustments and move forward shouldn’t prevent either of you from maintaining a constructive approach to parenting.
Any anger or negative feelings you have should be confided to close friends, family members, or a professional therapist. If you need to talk with your former partner about anything that could lead to a heated discussion, do it away from your children. Engage with your family lawyer in Denver about legal matters or mediation, for example.
Be flexible while creating a routine
While children can adjust to the reality of a divorce, it’s still essential to have a structure in place. A cooperative relationship between parents will require flexibility on both sides. Both of you should give advance notice of any changes in schedule, such as vacations. Working out your reasonable parenting time can also be made easier with planning or calendar services.
Discuss with your former partner about matters such as discipline and house rules, and maintain a consistent level of support. Be ready to adjust your schedules to accommodate changes in your kids’ needs.
Maintain respect and communication
Your relationship with your former partner may not be friendly, but try to keep it civil and have open lines of communication at all times. Both of you should be updated when it comes to each other’s contact details, work, and residential address. Each parent should keep the other advised of matters such as their location during parenting time, and involvement of any other individuals such as babysitters, friends, or new romantic partners.
Talk directly to your former partner about issues related to parenting or the divorce, with a mediator or counselor present if necessary. Always be respectful to each other when in the presence of your children. Never use your kids to send a message, or have them keep tabs on the other side during visitation.
Clichéd as it may sound, but it does take a village to raise a child. Encourage activities that allow your kids to interact and make friends with other children at both homes, and involve responsible and supportive adults – from caring friends to grandparents and other members of the respective extended families. Your children need to know that they can rely on support and have positive experiences with both parents.
If both sides can forge past the unique conflicts enough to give your children the support they need without being married or living together, then your kids will be well-adjusted and benefit from growing up around caring and responsible parents.