How parents should treat each other after a divorce

No matter what the circumstances are surrounding a divorce, it is never easy. The breakup of a family is especially hard on children, who suddenly find themselves having to deal with growing up in two households, with their parents apart. Not surprisingly, this can be a time of turmoil, confusion and fear for children. It is often heartbreaking for Texas parents who are trying to help their children cope and adjust during this period, but it is possible with love and the right parenting techniques to not only help a child move on after a divorce, but to thrive.

Dealing with children and each other during and after the divorce

In most cases, during the divorce mediation or litigation process and afterwards, both parents will have at least partial custody of the children. Except in cases of abuse, it is important for children to be raised and loved by both parents, which will often result in the parents sharing time with the kids.

The way parents treat each other after the divorce can have a lasting effect on children's lives, says Kids Health. It may be difficult for parents to put aside their feelings of anger and resentment, but treating each other civilly - at least around the children - is a good way to spare them much of the conflict of a divorce. Some helpful tips to keep in mind include:

  • Not speaking badly about the other parent or arguing with each other in front of the children
  • Refraining from using the children as a way to spy on the other parent or as a go-between
  • Encouraging the children to keep in contact with the other parent and involving the other parent in activities and events

It is also important to watch for signs that a child is having extra difficulties coping with a divorce, and to enlist additional help if needed.

Differences in how kids react to their parents' divorce

According to Web MD, kids of different ages may react in varying ways to a divorce. Younger children are likely to become more dependent on their parents and other caregivers and can regress in some ways, such as bedwetting or needing a light on at bedtime. They may blame themselves for their parents splitting up. Older children may seem to adjust better to the split initially, but can blame their parents and rely on their peers more for support. While some can accept and understand the reasons a divorce was necessary, they may develop problems in school and social situations.

These are reasons why it is important not only to develop a joint parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children, but for parents to continually reassure their kids that they are loved, the divorce was not their fault and things will get better. It can help for parents to make the effort to improve their own relationship after the divorce, says HelpGuide, treating their roles as parents as a business partnership with the needs of the children as the top priority.

The difficult period of transition leading up to and following a divorce can be made easier by the cooperation and understanding of both parents, when it comes to how their children are coping. An experienced family law attorney can help make this process smoother and fair for everyone involved.