When I first moved to Temecula, I was a single parent and that seemed quite rare. Now that I have been here for over two years, I am noticing that there are quite a few families struggling with separation, divorce and co-parenting. Since co-parenting after divorce is something I have done for 15 years, I thought I would share some insights. For those families not dealing with divorce, these tips may help you support your children when they have to deal with other difficult events in their lives.
One of the main struggles in co-parenting is communication. We have to take a relationship that doesn’t seem to work and somehow raise children together within that framework. I can tell you it’s easier said than done, but not impossible.
I have learned that the absolute most important thing is that your children feel loved and that their feelings be acknowledged and valued. If both parents can do this, and also refrain from talking negatively about each other, it is so much easier on the kids. When going through a divorce, sometimes it is difficult to put everything aside and think about what does my child need right now and how can I give that to him/her. If you can do that, though, you will be so ahead of the game. Remember that children have no control over divorce. They need support, empathy, compassion, love, a listening ear, and a relationship with both parents.
One way to support your children is to simply spend some extra quality time with them. Even 10 quality minutes after school or before bed makes such a huge difference. If both parents can make some extra time when they have the children, that would be awesome. It might be a little challenging to come up with that extra time, since each parent is now doing the work of two. However, being creative is so worth it!
Another idea is to have them draw. It is amazing when they have a blank piece of paper and all the colors of the rainbow, what will show up in their drawings. They express what’s going on inside of them on the paper. When they are done, take an interest in what they drew. See if they want to tell you about their story, their picture, maybe the colors they chose. Listen. It all tells the story of what is going on inside of them. You just may get an opportunity to heal some hurts and deepen your bond! Best of all, you have just given your child a huge and powerful gift – love and acceptance!
Remember, when you think of the pain you are feeling, know that your children are experiencing that loss too. Be there for them. Love them. Communicate with them. This will make them feel loved and that everything will be okay.
If you would like additional information on this subject, please feel free to e-mail me email@example.com.