Divorce has likely turned your world upside down. Imagine how your kids feel. No matter how old your children are, they are all to aware of the emotional changes that are taking place within your home.
Does divorce hurt kids? Maybe the better question is, “How do we not add extra hurt onto our kids” while we go through our divorce? The answer… don’t add extra hurt onto your kids while you are going through your divorce. Your children need to heal from the effects of all your marital struggles, and they need a chance to recover without being constantly reminded of any continued animosity and emotional drama.
Truthfully, co-parenting can be even more complicated than parenting in general. A great Co-Parenting Plan is all about making sure that your children’s needs are treated with the respect that they are due. It provides glue and structure, and helps keep conflict and drama in check.
Co-Parents, and their kids, need a great child-focused Co-Parenting Plan. It’s your kid’s best shot at a successful resolution to all that is happening around them. Creating a child-focused plan to co-parent means establishing some Golden Rules between you and your kid’s other parent. Together, you and your ex can preserve your children’s need to feel stable, secure and loved by both. This is what you expected for them when they were born, and this is what they deserve—even though you are no longer married.
A few of the Golden Rules of a Child Focused Co-Parenting Plan.
- It’s always good for our kids to have involved parents who love and care for them.
- We will be cordial to each other and treat each other with decency and respect.
- We will hold the cheap shots. We do not trash talk the other parent… never, ever.
- Our kids are little people, not pawns in a process and we will not let them take sides.
- We will rise to our new parenting obligations and become better parents while respecting the other’s parenting style.
- The divorce is over. We don’t fight in front of the kids anymore.
- We will teach our kids the importance of timeliness and dependability and plan to be 5 minutes early, not 15 mins late.
- We will figure out how to communicate better and will create a plan to deal with the inevitable disagreements and conflicts.
- We will first discuss changes with the other parent before we inform the children.
- We have already learned that life throws some curveballs. We will practice being flexible.