Separated Parents: 7 Tips for Raising a Child in Separate Households
Don’t argue in front of your child.
This may seem like common sense, but it’s sometimes too easy to fall back into old bad behaviors. When we argue in front of our children, we only teach them to argue. It’s time for to break the cycle.
Remind your children that it’s not their fault.
Children often internalize their parents’ conflicts and place the blame upon themselves. Even if they don’t voice these thoughts or feelings, it’s important to remind them that what’s happening is not their fault.
Don’t use your child a pawn.
As much as we hate to admit it, it’s all too tempting. When emotions run high, parents can be tempted to manipulate their children to the disadvantage of their soon-to-be former spouses. It’s unfair to the kids. Don’t do it.
Don’t turn your kid into the messenger.
We all know sometimes the lines of communication get crossed. Heck, maybe if we communicated better we wouldn’t be separating at all? That’s not your child’s problem. Keep the grown folk conversations between you and your spouse.
Communicate with your child.
It’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day and neglect to explain what’s going on to the most important person in your life: your child. Remember to explain things in terms of what your child can understand and expect, and don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Now is the time to be real.
Your child is not a spy.
Yes, we know how tempting in can be to try to get your child to spill the beans on your ex… but that’s just not fair. Be the better parent. Take the higher road. Lead by example, after all… you are the role model.
Listen to you child.
Children can often feel helpless during a separation and by listening to your child you give them a sense of control in their lives. Even something as simple as valuing their input on new living décor can have a positive impact. Separated parents raising a child can still have a positive impact.