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7 Steps for a Better Separation
Divorce is never an easy thing to go through, especially for the kids. You can never have a painless separation, and new issues will always come up. However, if you have exhausted all other avenues of rehabilitation for your relationship, and have decided that divorce is the appropriate option for you, keep these things in mind:
- Your children’s needs must always come first. It is your job to make sure that your divorce does not cost your children any more than it already has. Kids don’t always have a way to tell you what they are thinking, so it is imperative that their needs are your priority. Make sure your kids know that they are the most important and that you’re going to do everything you can to take care of them.
- Begin a new relationship with your ex. Your relationship as a married couple is ending, and your relationship as divorced parents is just starting. Think about seeing a post-marital counselor to help you create a parenting plan, and resolve unfinished emotional issues. This will help you clearly see what is best for your children.
- Have clear communication with your kids. Keep the lines of communication open with your kids. Otherwise, they will fill in missing information with their imagination. This can lead to feelings of guilt, blaming themselves, or believing that they are the cause for the things that are happening.
- Don’t put your children in the middle. It is important that you – as parents – don’t play ‘tug-of-war’. Don’t put your kids between you and your ex and fight for their allegiance. Your children are not pawns to be used to get back at the other person.
- Don’t bad-mouth the other parent. Do not be critical of, attack, or speak poorly of the other parent in front of your children. If you do this, it may result in your child becoming alienated from the other parent. You may take that as a win at the time, but eventually, your children will come to resent you for it.
- Communicate with your ex. Work together to make decisions for your children. Don’t let your children further separate you by letting them manipulate the more lenient parent.
- Make your kids feel at home. Instead of them feeling like they come from a broken home, make sure they feel as though they have two homes. Each house should have a place for them, that is their own with things for them in it. Make sure your child feels welcomed, loved, and at home in both places.