Raising your children after a divorce takes some special consideration. Everything they’ve known for their entire lives is changing suddenly, and they might have trouble coping with that. You’re bound to make some mistakes as you’re learning to navigate this new situation.
Some mistakes are common after divorce. Learning what these are and finding out how you can avoid them might help you during this journey.
Mistake 1: Not setting ground rules. Your children need clear rules throughout this process. You might be tempted to let some behavior slide, but don’t do this unless you’re prepared to continue overlooking it. The tone you set now is what’s going to govern your parenting in the future.
Mistake 2: Making the children pack up their belongings. It is understandable that they may need to bring special items, such as a favorite stuffed animal, from one house to the other, but try not to have them pack full suitcases. Each parent can have hygiene items and clothing for the kids, so they truly feel like both houses are homes.
Mistake 3: Using the kids as messengers. Not only does making the kids relay messages between parents leave room for misinterpretation, it also puts them in a position of feeling like they must choose sides. Instead, communicate directly with the other parent so that both adults know what’s going on.
The terms of your co-parenting agreement should be put into the parenting plan. This document must be set based on what the children need now, and it can be modified in the future as those needs change. An attorney can offer advice and guidance now and in the future.