A relationship coach and co-founder of Loveawake site by the name of Alex Wise sent over these tips via his publicist. We typically don’t reprint press releases, and we are certainly not endorsing this guy since we don’t know him, but his advice seemed timely, given that celebrities are breaking up left and right these days.
Having been down this road, we reviewed this list and it’s pretty solid. So, yeah, the divorce process sucks, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Here are Alex’s tips on how to keep the kids as sane as possible while you’re riding the break-up roller coaster:
1. Keep life as normal as possible. Coordinate with the other parent to ensure your child’s routine is maintained with little disruption.
2. Reinforce the idea that the divorce has nothing to do with the child. That both parents love the child very much.
3. Communicate with the other parent regularly about the child’s needs, concerns, etc. Both parents have a right to know and both should work together to achieve what’s best for the child.
4. Make each parent’s individual time with the child a positive experience when getting the child ready to visit or to return from a visit. This can be done by saying how much fun it will be on leaving for a visit or talking about how much fun it was upon returning.
5. Acknowledge the reality that children are perceptive. They pick up more than you would think. As a result, do be careful about what is said in their presence.
1. Never speak ill of the other parent to or in front of the child. This is known as “alienating affection” and has dire consequences, including affecting custody.
2. Never discuss details of the court case with the child. A child should not know anything other than the fact that the parents are divorcing. Any details shared with the child, irrespective of her age, can have dire consequences including affecting custody.
3. Never argue in front of the child. Raising the level of stress already present in the child’s life as a result of the divorce can have lasting psychological effects on the child.
4. Do not try and make the child favor you by plying them with gifts. Not only can it be considered an attempt to alienate the child from the other parent, it also creates a detrimental dynamic between you and the child.
5. Do not use the child to communicate messages, carry letters or give support checks to the other parent. The child should not be involved in the business of divorce.