5 Simple Ways to Be a Better Parent After Divorce

  1. Set Aside Time for Your Kids

Getting a divorce can be quite time consuming, and life after divorce can be equally as busy. Before you become too swamped, it’s important to set aside time specifically for you and your children. Even if the day ahead of you is looking hectic, try to enjoy the time you do spend together, whether that be in the car on the way to practice, around the dinner table, or even a weekend brunch. Think about these things in advance and know when you and your kids are going to be spending time together, clear your mind to the best of your abilities and try to engage them with what’s going on in their lives, and remember, turn off the Xbox and kill the TV as much as possible when you’re with your children.


  1. Give Your Child a Voice

The divorce process is bound to make your children feel somewhat powerless, huge life changes have been made for them and they have had very little input. Whether that be moving houses, changing schools, or a parent moving out, these changes can be tough on them mentally and emotionally. Your goal must now be to give them a voice to express their concerns and opinions without feeling like you’re going to be angry or upset with them. This is easier said than done as divorce can inherently come along with a little bit of uncertainty and distrust in one’s parents, you need to reassure them that you and your ex love them no matter what and want to hear what they have to say; their opinion is important too. If you can, let them make some decisions, this might be as simple as them deciding which weekend night they’d like to spend at your house and which night at your ex’s, these things can go a long way in making them feel like they have some control over this difficult situation and can help them open up on their own terms.


  1. Make Family Events a Priority

This is probably the most obvious example of what putting your child’s interest before your own really means when it comes down to it. No matter what hectic and tense things are happening between you and your ex-spouse during and after your split, family events are important and can’t be neglected. They need to know that although it may be structured slightly differently, you’re still a family and can still have fun together.


This means birthdays, holidays, graduations, school events, sports games and weekends are all crucial times for you to capitalize on keeping your family bond strong and keeping the tone light, you don’t want them stuck in the mess of your divorce any more than they absolutely must. You can engage in these events alone, but often it’s even better to have your ex there, if you’re both there civilly cheering them on at their game, they’ll be happy and reassured that the whole world hasn’t flipped upside down.


  1. Be Willing to Co-Parent

The little common sense angel on your shoulder will surely let you know that bad-mouthing your ex to your children is not a constructive idea, but we all know that this is easier said than done. Sometimes, your intentions are nothing but pure and you just want them to see something for the way it truly is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be conscious of the way you deliver these lessons to your children. Try to present the points of contention between you and your ex as simple, civil disagreements, not one person or the other’s fault. Look for ways to collaborate with your ex when you can on how to raise your children. You aren’t always going to get along or agree on the best parenting strategies, but you can keep the conversations civil (especially around your children) and focus on the things you do agree on to your children. This is a hard thing to do, but it will go a long way in giving your children a little piece of mind.


  1. Make Time for Yourself

Your children’s needs come first, but that doesn’t mean you can’t focus on yourself as well. Neglecting yourself for too long is only going to lead in your parenting skill deteriorating in the long run so it’s important to do some personal reflection on your mental and emotional state and try to find an outlet you enjoy. Keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy through the divorce process may seem impossible when you’re in the midst of it all, but the more you try, the happier you and your children will be in the long run. Lean on your support system for some guidance and try to sneak in some time to exercise, it will keep you physically healthy and mentally fresh to deal with the inevitable next problem to tackle.


Washington Divorce Lawyers


Our attorneys regularly speak on family law and parenting plan matters.  Elise has extensive experience in high-conflict parenting disputes.  If you have any questions about Washington state divorce law, mediation or child custody, please contact us at info@elisebuiefamilylaw.com or 206-926-9848.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

Divorce can be a time of confusion and complexity. In addition to any emotional or other stress, your divorce can impact both your and your ex’s will. Therefore, it is important to understand what that impact may be and what…

While software developers are among the professions with the lowest divorce rates, coming in at 20.3%, workers in the technology sector who divorce face specific challenges during the divorce process. From how to locate and divide assets to determining parenting…

For parents, divorce often raises many questions surrounding extracurricular activities. These questions usually include whether the children will get to participate in the extracurricular activities (sports, performing arts classes, music lessons, art classes, etc.) they did before the divorce, expanded…

Divorce is a time of transition, which can bring about changes in your professional life as much as it can in your personal life. Perhaps you are one of the ones, like many, who have decided that a fresh start…

Becoming a single parent, especially after being married and having a partner to share in the physical and emotional labor, can be a challenging transition. The role of single parent, even for those in a healthy co-parenting relationship with their…

If you are in love and looking to plan a life with your partner, congratulations. This is an exciting time for you both, and the goal is that the relationship will stand the test of time. However, a recent study…

Divorce is not only about protecting assets and deciding who will keep the marital home afterward. Divorce is about re-envisioning your life following the end of a marriage and about discovering who you are today. This may include learning about…

The expression “in sickness and in health” is common in wedding ceremonies of all faiths. So when most people recite these words, it is probably safe to assume that they envision themselves married at a time when the unthinkable may…

Instead of marrying, increasingly, more couples are choosing to cohabitate outside of marriage. Many couples decide this for a variety of reasons, including testing the waters about whether they are suitable to live together as a couple or don’t believe…

Divorce can be a relatively straightforward process if you and your spouse are on good terms and can agree on certain issues in your case. In such a situation, you can file for an uncontested divorce which is often a…