Following on from the previous blog about not letting divorce destroy your kids, here is part 2 of the list of great tips for sound guidelines for parents to follow.
If you are a parent going through a divorce do look through these tips as one or two of them maybe helpful to your situation.
If you would like any advice about your separation or divorce, do not hesitate to contact a member of our Family Law team at any of our four offices; York, Selby, Malton or Pickering.
These tips have been written by Elinor Robin, PhD who is a Mediator.
11. Avoid using body language, facial expressions or other subtleties to express negative thoughts and emotions about the other parent. Your child can read you!
12. You can discuss your feelings with your children to the extent that they can understand them. But, if you let your child know that you are terrified of the future, your child will be terrified too. Instead, keep a balanced emotional perspective that focuses on the difference between feelings and facts.
13. Do not use your child as a courier for messages or money.
14. Support your child's right to visit their grandparents and extended family. Children benefit from knowing their roots and heritage. And, children love tradition. Extended family provides children with a sense of consistency, connection, and identity - especially during divorce. Remember neither extended family is better or worse - they are just different.
15. Avoid the urge to question your child or press them for information regarding the details of your co-parents personal or professional life.
16. Each parent must establish and maintain his or her own relationship with the children. Neither of you should act as a mediator between the children and the other parent.
17. Be on time for pick-ups and drop-offs. Do not enter the other parent's home unless you are invited in.
18. Your child's relationship with their parents will influence their relationships for the rest of their life. Never put your child in a position where they have to choose between their parents or decide where their familial allegiances lie. Instead, allow them to love both parents without fear of angering or hurting the other.
19. Do not take it personally if your teenager prefers to be with his/her friends. Don't push, but remain available. If you feel rejected and back-off, your teen may feel rejected in return.
20. Expect that your children may feel confused, guilty, sad and/or abandoned in response to the divorce. Acknowledge their feelings as normal and remind them that even though the family is undergoing a major change, you and their Dad/Mum will always be their parents.