As a parent, your job is to love, nurture, protect and prepare your children to live a happy, healthy and successful life. Unfortunately, when divorce occurs, children often feel trapped in the middle and can get hurt.
The good news is there are many things you can do to help your children when they are faced with having two homes, two families and two different sets of rules. Here are some guidelines that will help you give your child the gift of peace and joy in times of transition.
LISTEN and LOVE
Children need to feel they are safe, secure and unconditionally loved. Your best chance to accomplish that is to listen to your child. Encourage an open line of communication, hug often and tell your child you love them. Most importantly, make sure they know they can come to you at any time with anything and know you will listen with an open mind and unconditional love.
FORGIVE and FORGET
Forgive your ex and forget all the bad things that happened. Acknowledge and release anger, fear and confusion with love and respect. Find and focus on the positive aspects of your time together. Here’s your chance to step up to the plate and be a really good role model. Help your child learn how to forgive and forget. Show them how to recognize and release negative feelings. Teach them how to find and focus on the positive aspects. Your examples of forgiveness, forgetting and focusing on positive solutions will make a huge difference in their life.
RESPECT and SUPPORT
Always support and be respectful of the other parent in everything you say, think and do. Encourage your children to do the same. Be especially careful with your facial expressions and body language when the topic of the other parent is brought up. One rule that works really well is: Say nice things or nothing. Respect and support each other every way possible.
ENCOURAGE and INCLUDE
Encourage participation, include your child in family traditions and ask for their ideas in creating new ones. If there are other children in the home, make it a point to encourage the individuality of each child and strive to include everyone in family activities. When you encourage conversation and include participation, you will bring even more love, joy, laughter and fun into your time together.
COMMUNICATE and CO-OPERATE
Strive to peacefully communicate and cooperate with the other parent about the needs of your child. (i.e. events, activities, clothes, medical needs, etc.) Only say positive things about the other parent in front of your children and support them as much as possible. Do your very best to communicate and cooperate with your ex. Working together will ensure your children receive the best of both worlds.
CONNECTION and CONTINUITY
Provide your child with a special place for their personal items. Encourage them to place pictures and make decisions about where their favorite things will go. For optimal connection and continuity, work with your children to create an area in your home just for them that is special, uniquely theirs, private and personalized with things that are meaningful to them.
FLEXIBLE and ROUTINE
Change is a fact of life and familiar routines will help make these inevitable transitions easier for all. Children usually have a greater sense of security (plus feel safer and more loved) when they know what to expect. When changes are coming, if possible, talk to your child ahead of time and include them in the planning process. Develop some type of routine for transition times. It could be as simple as taking a walk together, saying a prayer or reading a story. An important key to success is to be flexible with routines. And always keep the best interest of your child first.
BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAYS and SPECIAL EVENTS
Do your absolute best to make significant days as nice as possible for your child. Be sure to ask your child what they would like to see and do. Cooperate with the other parent and make plans early. Coordinate with your ex regarding gift giving and important activities so your child can relax and fully enjoy each special day. Plus, be flexible and willing to go the extra mile yourself to support your children in a positive, fun and healthy manner for each marvelous birthday, holiday and event!
Remember, this can be a gift that keeps on giving. When you help your child learn to find peace and joy within two homes, you give them the gift of tools they can use again and again as they design and build a happy, healthy and successful life!
About the Author:
Dr. John (Dealey) Carpenter Dealey is an International MasterMind expert, business mentor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, speaker and self-made millionaire. He is dedicated to helping people solve problems, reach goals and soar to new heights of success using the marvelous powers of mastermind and laughter. To learn how mastermind can help you create a life you love, go to: http://mastermindsoaring.com/ or: http://www.dr-mastermind.com/