Claws can come out like never before during emotional break ups, and it can be even more stressful when children are involved. It’s not uncommon for people to say and do a lot of things they don’t mean in the heat of arguments, but it’s important to remember these things in order to avoid damaging the ability to successfully co-parent altogether.
Be careful how you speak in front of your child
You may feel angry and/or hurt, but there is never a good reason to express these things in front of your child. This can not only be traumatic for them, but it can also cause them to feel as if they will have to choose sides, which is something a child should never have to do. This also applies to those that tell their children negative things about the other parent or sit around and talk to other people about the parent in front of the child.
It’s very unhealthy to involve a child in adult issues, child thatespecially relationship drama, and it sends the wrong message to that child. You may think that it’s helping your case, but it’s only making you look child thatdoesn’t truly understand what’s going on. All he/she knows is that you’re being mean and saying bad things about their other parent.
Your child is not a pawn
Break ups happen. It’s a part of dating, and not everyone is meant to stay together. Your relationship issues should never dictate your parenting dynamics. A break up, even if infidelity is involved, does not automatically make a bad partner a bad parent, and it’s important not to make a habit of confusing the two. Anyone can be a horrible partner, but still be a great parent, and vice versa.
If they are not putting your child in harm’s way or engaging in illegal activity, there’s no reason why the child should not be allowed to still be able to spend time with both parents. It’s important to set your feelings aside for the well being of your child. Try not to get into the habit of using access to your child as punishment for someone that things didn’t work out with. It will affect your child much more than it will affect the partner you’re trying to hurt or upset. Be mindful of how often your decisions and actions affect more than just the intended target.
The break up isn’t your child’s fault
What happened hurts..like hell. It may hurt for a little while. However what happened to you is not your child’s fault, and it’s important to avoid taking your frustrations out on the children. Now,more than ever, is the time to support your child and do the best you can to keep life as normal as possible for them.
Some ways to help keep your child’s life as normal as possible are as follows:
- Ensure that your conversations with your former partner are somewhat positive or at least civil when the child is around. Try to maintain a united parenting front. Save heated discussions for private time.
- Work with the co parent on a new schedule upfront to make sure that all responsibilities aren’t lying on whoever the child will be staying with.
- Take some time alone to deal with and process your emotions, so that you can still parent effectively and not take anger out on your child.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your child about the transition, and what it will consist of. Just do so without placing blame or trying to make your co parent appear as a villain.
Karlicia Lewis is an entrepreneur, life coach, and author of the insightful, self help book “Stop Saying Yes to Mr. No Good”. She currently resides in Dallas, Tx, where she is currently working on two new books to release in 2017.