On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
No matter how long you’ve been divorced, you may worry that you’ve ruined your child’s life, but in reality, you haven’t. Divorce is a big change for children, but their quality of life after the split is still determined by the actions of each parent. Can a divorce negatively impact your child? Of course. But in truth, children aren’t necessarily fated to be negatively affected.
Our Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney looks closely at positive ways you can parent your child after divorce in the face of some common circumstances. By following our tips, you can make sure that your children don’t get caught in the crosshairs.
Don’t Ignore Consequences Due to Guilt
After a divorce, many parents forego doling out punishment to their children because they feel guilty for disrupting the child’s life. Unfortunately, this can quickly become a habit that leads your kids to develop some ugly behaviors.
The anxiety, stress, and sadness children feel over their divorce can lead some to act out. However, consistency is key to a well-balanced child. While you should be empathetic, you also need to be firm and ensure there are consequences when they cross the line.
Discipline your children the same way you would have before the divorce, but make it a point to discuss the situation with your child after everyone has calmed down. Find out what caused the behavior. Let them know you’re open to talking about their feelings about the divorce, and really listen to what they tell you.
Don’t Let Your Children Get Caught in the Middle
As a Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer, let us be the first to tell you, don’t be one of those parents that place their child in the middle of disagreements between you and your spouse. It’s not fair to add extra worries to your kids’ minds when they are with you. They don’t want to take sides, so don’t talk about your ex in a way that forces them to. If your child tells you, “Dad says you don’t help me enough with my homework,” don’t get defensive or verbally bash your spouse. Instead, respond in a non-defensive manner, saying something like, “I think we’ve been doing an excellent job of reviewing your schoolwork. I’m sorry your dad feels that way.” Doing this can defuse the situation and take your child out of the middle position. It also lets your child know that the other parent is free to say or do what he wants, but it’s not important when the child is on your time. You won’t engage in a verbal war.
Don’t Worry About Falling Apart
Immediately the following divorce, it’s only natural to be sad and upset. If you fall apart, don’t beat yourself up over it. Like the end of any relationship, divorce carries a grieving process, no matter how amicable the split may be. Overall, you may find yourself angry, sad, overwhelmed, and less patient with those around you.
Your child will be going through their own grieving process, but they will also worry about the transition between homes, new rules, her parents’ well-being, and an unknown future. Don’t let the fact that they worry about you make you bottle up your feelings. You are entitled to fall apart.
Showing that you’re having a hard time lets your child know you’re human. Be open to talking about their concerns, but never overshare details from your personal life or your relationship with the other parent. Making your child your confidant puts her into an adult position, which is unfair to her. You don’t want to bias her against your ex. Instead, just let her know that you are having a difficult time, but it will get better soon.
If you’re going through a divorce and are looking to continue a steady relationship with your child, a Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney at The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., can help. With years of experience in family law, our lawyers have the tools necessary to fight for the time you deserve with your child. Call us today at 954-533-2756 or contact us online.