4 tips for putting your kids first and reining in your emotions

Divorce can be hard. You may argue with your ex. You may fight. You may hate each other. It happens.

The problem, though, is when that spills over and impacts your children. Remember, you and your spouse are still going to be parents even when the divorce is finalized. Nothing changes that, and it's important to put your kids first.

One woman went through a tough break-up with her spouse, but, after it was over, her son asked her why she and her spouse did not appear to hate each other. He thought most people in her situation would fight more often. She offered him some of the reasons why, which can be tips to help anyone facing divorce put the kids first.

1. Love them more.

You may hate your ex. Make sure you love your kids more. When making decisions, don't just think about how much you dislike your former spouse. If vindictive decisions based off of anger will hurt your kids, remember that you love them even more, and make the best decisions for them.

2. Parent together.

The woman and her spouse, despite their differences, put in the effort to coparent the kids. That didn't mean they always agreed or interacted with the kids the same way. But they tried to be a team and work together with the kids' best interests in mind. That meant staying involved.

3. Acknowledge that divorce can hurt the kids.

Divorce isn't always going to be easy for the kids. It can hurt them. It changes their lives in a way they never chose.

The woman said that she and her ex acknowledged that right from the beginning. They knew they couldn't avoid it. However, they did decide that they didn't want to keep hurting the kids for years to come. They made the divorce the "one wound" they would allow. That helped them focus on making the best decisions for the kids going forward, putting the divorce further and further behind them.

4. Remember that the goal doesn't change.

Two married parents often have one main goal: raising safe, healthy, happy children. The woman noted that the goal for her and her ex did not change. No, they weren't married. Their relationship changed. But, as noted above, their relationships with the kids did not change, and that meant the goal didn't change, either. They still wanted to do everything they could to have safe, healthy, happy children.

To a large degree, the mindset of two divorced parents is incredibly important. It is crucial for parents to know their legal rights and things of this nature, but they should approach things like a child custody agreement or a parenting plan with the same goal in mind.

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Beverly L . Brennan Attorney & Counsellor At Law - Naples Florida

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