As a parent, your children’s needs are a top priority. This does not change during your divorce or after.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a relationship with both parents is essential to a child’s development and growth. While shared custody can be a challenge, here are some tips to help you manage it.
1. Do not say anything negative about your children’s other parent to them
Pointing out your co-parent’s negative attributes or discussing his or her financial problems can create a loyalty conflict within your children. This can have long-term damaging effects on their psyches. There are other, more appropriate outlets for you to vent if you need to.
2. Find a way for you and your co-parent to communicate effectively
You and your co-parent need to share information regarding your children. If verbal communication is too difficult, you can email or text. Just find a way for the two of you to share information effectively and in a timely manner.
3. Keep a consistent schedule
Your divorce means a lot of life-altering changes for your children. You can help them adjust by establishing a new schedule as soon as possible and keeping it as consistent as possible. When children know what to expect from day to day and week to week, it helps them achieve stability.
While the schedule needs to be as consistent as possible, it also needs to accommodate your children’s schooling and extracurricular activities. Because unexpected circumstances can arise at any time, it also helps to have contingency plans in place before you need them.