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How can I help my child's relationship with their other parent?

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in Co-Parenting

Some psychologists believe divorce is 95% emotional and 5% legal. After all, we’re only human and intense feelings naturally consume our thoughts. That can be especially true if your marriage and divorce were fraught with significant conflict and hard feelings.

But focusing on the other 5% is vitally essential for you and your children's well-being. Determining custody and parenting time is at the top of the list. It's well documented that any conflict between parents harms children. But how should you deal with any lingering anger or resentment?

Five steps to strengthen your child's relationship

Many co-parents have a healthy rapport with their former partner, which is the best scenario for children. Others may justifiably hold onto anger. Try to let go of those feelings and focus on what's best for your kids. They also feel those intense emotions, which can cause more harm. Even if you can’t fully let go of the negativity, here are five steps that can immeasurably help:

  • Be polite to your ex: We all want our kids to be respectful and civil to others. It sends the wrong message if you aren’t able to get along in front of your children.
  • No badmouthing: Along with showing respect in person to your ex, don’t say mean things about them behind their backs in front of your kids.
  • Foster their relationship: Always encourage your children to spend quality time doing fun things with your ex. Being flexible enough to change the parenting schedule sends a good message.
  • Say something positive: Try to remember some of the good qualities that attracted you to your ex in the first place and emphasize those attributes with your children.
  • Let yourself off the hook: Even if you fall short on a bad day of co-parenting, understand that each day brings the promise of a new beginning. Try to do better and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Be diligent but set a constructive tone for co-parenting

If you and your ex continue to have issues that need to be addressed, document them and work with your legal advisor to find remedies. But try to leave your kids out of the line of fire of any conflict.

Your children are a reflection of both of you, and Texas courts prioritize keeping them connected to both parents. Studies show that children recover much faster from the pain of divorce when mom and dad work together for their best interests.

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