As a divorcing parent, you may be more worried about how your younger children are dealing with the break-up than your teenagers. After all, teens are old enough to understand at least some of the factors that lead adults to end their relationships. Further, they have the communication skills to express their concerns and ask questions that your little ones don't.
Divorce can bring out the worst in people. Sadly, some divorced spouses take out their feelings about their ex on their children.
Mother's Day and Father's Day can be among the trickiest holiday for divorced parents. If you and your co-parent have a strained relationship, it can be difficult to muster the will to help your kids prepare to celebrate a day when your ex is celebrated. If your kids are still young, it also means helping them choose a gift (or doing it yourself).
When most parents divorce, they work out a child support agreement (or a court determines one for them.) The agreement may be modified based on a significant change in circumstances, such as if the paying parent loses a job. However, what if one of the parents remarries?
If you've read anything about healthy parenting after divorce, you know that you should never speak ill of your co-parent to your children. However, what happens if you find out that your ex is criticizing your parenting or saying negative things about you to your kids? What if the negativity is coming from someone else on your ex's side of the family, like one of the kids' grandparents, aunts or uncles? Maybe it's coming from the parent of one of your kid's friends who took your ex's side in the divorce.
If the relationship between you and your soon-to-be ex is still too toxic for the two of you to communicate effectively as co-parents, your attorney or someone else may have mentioned the idea of "parallel parenting." This type of arrangement allows parents to remain active in their children's lives while being able to disengage from one another. You can give old wounds and grudges time to heal without adding new conflicts to the mix.
With spring break approaching and then summer not too far behind, newly-separated or divorced parents may be dreading spending time away from their kids while they're off making memories with their other parent. Vacations make up some of our best memories -- both as children and then as parents. How can co-parents work to help ensure that vacations continue to be special for their kids and to let both parents share in vacation adventures, even when they aren't present?
For children of divorce and their parents, major holidays can be among the most difficult times of the year. Often, children spend major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving with just one parent, which can be bittersweet for them and sad for the parent who isn't there. Attempts to spend the holidays together as a family after divorce can be even worse if ex-spouses have difficulty being around each other, let alone their former in-laws.
Child support is based on a binding court order. It's not something parents do to be kind to their kids or to help out an ex. As such, they can't stop paying simply because they don't want to or because they failed to save up enough money after other expenses. It's a mandatory payment that has to be met.
Toxic relationships don't necessarily become less toxic when a couple parts ways. In fact, sometimes, the stress and conflict of divorce can bring even more animosity between people. However, when you have children, you have to find a way to communicate civilly for their well-beieng, if not for your own mental health.