Confusion, sometimes, overwhelms everyone involved in a divorce. From the estranged spouses to the children – no matter what age. For some couples, there is heartbreak, concerns about the children as well as their own emotional and financial well-being. For children, uncertainty arises in many areas. Do their parents still love them? Whom will I live with? Will I have to move and attend a new school?
While the estranged spouses may not have agreed on many matters in the past few months of their marriage, they must agree on dealings involving their children. This especially holds true in communication matters.
Focus on the children, stay on civil terms
Courts know and fully comprehend the importance of having both parents’ involvement in their children’s lives. Each parent must understand this as well and set aside any disharmony. If one parent gains primary custody of the children, the other must take the steps to remain relevant in their lives.
And along the way, communication is a necessity. Maintaining good and effective communication with your children and former spouse is crucial. Consider the following:
- Remain civil with your former spouse. There may be challenges with the history you have had, but, now more than ever, both parents need to be solid role models for their children. If they see the two of you arguing and fighting as well as criticizing each other, they will remember this. A chasm could potentially form between you and the children.
- Former spouses should focus their conversations on the children. You both love them, and the children mean more to the two of you than anything else in the world. Share matters related to your children’s activities, homework, school and extracurricular activities and, of course, health situations. Do not keep the other parent in the dark.
- Understand the importance of listening: Maybe your previous listening habits were a detriment to your marriage. If so, work on improving them. Pay closer attention to what your former spouse shares about the children. And listen to your children. You just may learn a few things.
- Remain involved and connected in the lives of your children: If you see your children infrequently, do your best to have regular phone conversations or FaceTime chats with them. Make sure to attend school events, parent-teacher conferences and any extracurricular activities. Your child will remember if you were not there. Volunteer at their school and spend as much time with them as possible doing educational, fun and adventurous things.
Avoiding confrontation and ill feelings helps you maintain a better line of communication with your former spouse. And, of course, the children will benefit, too. But communication remains essential between you and your children as well. Stay civil and stay involved.