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Focus on a nurturing relationship with your kids during divorce

Posted on in Co-Parenting

It can be easy to lose sight of the most important things in life during a heated divorce. But most Texas parents understand that their children’s well-being is, or should be, at the top of the list. Even parents involved in a contentious divorce have one thing in common: Love for their children.

Divorce signals the end of one loving relationship. But parents don’t divorce their kids. You might feel guilty over the breakup or are just unsure how to deal with your pain, let alone that of your kids. But the good news is there are steps you can take to help your children cope and create a stronger relationship with them going forward.

Four steps to creating a positive parent-child vibe

Once your divorce is final, you are still one family that is living in separate households. But even before the process is over, here are some things you can do to achieve a child-focused divorce:

  • Avoid unnecessary conflict: Fewer than 10% of all divorces wind up in litigation. Staying out of court shields your children from parental conflict, which research shows can be most damaging to them.
  • Avoid the urge to retaliate: Getting back at a cheating, abusive or irresponsible spouse might be justified in some cases, but it almost always ends up creating more harm for your children.
  • It’s all about the kids: Even if your children put on a brave face, many aren’t as resilient as you might think. Talk to them about the changes and listen to what they say. Love and assurance are critical during this vulnerable time.
  • Don’t rush to get it over with: No one wants a lengthy divorce. But it’s essential to let the process play out as long as necessary to achieve a fair and equitable financial outcome as well as a sensible parenting arrangement. Commit to spending time with your children and caring for yourself during this period.

Recovery takes time for you and your kids

Each family is different, but psychologists say it usually takes one to two years to recover from the pain of divorce. By putting your kids’ needs first and focusing on being a nurturing presence, you can significantly reduce their recovery time as well as the potential for long-lasting adverse effects.

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