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New Year’s Resolutions to Make as a Co-Parent

Posted on in Family Law

coparenting, new years' resolution, Naperville family law attorneyCo-parenting can be a challenge, especially if you are still dealing with unresolved feelings towards your ex. It is important to remember that, despite any unfortunate feelings you or your ex may be harboring, the priority as a co-parent is always your children. Divorce can be extremely difficult for everyone involved, but the transition is especially difficult on children, who may not fully understand the situation. They may blame themselves for the separation, have difficulty transitioning from one home to two, or face a number of other challenges due to their parent’s divorce. With 2016 just underway, resolve to make this year the best year for your children. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions both you and your co-parent can make to ensure your children feel loved, safe, and understand they are always your top priority.

Resolve to Empathize with Your Children

Living in two different households can be chaotic, and while most adults do not live in two different homes, children of divorce do all the time. As a good co-parent, you should be prepared to help your children as they make their way through the difficult divorce transition, and consistently praise them for their flexibility. Keep in mind that this is not just during the initial divorce transition, but continually as time goes on as well. As new relationships develop for both you and your ex, your children will have to adjust to new people in their lives. Many children of divorce also end up living in blended families with other siblings with whom they may not be familiar, so do your best to praise your children for adjusting. In all of the chaos, they may feel left out, so aim to remind them that they are still your number one priority.

Resolve to Listen to Your Children, Even Years After the Divorce

Divorce is complicated, and as time passes, your children may develop different feelings on the subject. Remember to listen to how your children are feeling, even many years after the process is over. Many adult children of divorced parents still harbor unresolved feelings towards their parent’s divorce, so it is important to nurture a relationship of listening and understanding all throughout their childhood so they develop into healthy adults with relationships of their own.

Resolve to Think Carefully About Your Children’s Living Situation

Living in two different households is complicated, so be sure to listen to your children’s feedback and think carefully about their living situations. Your child may choose to live with one parent over another, and while this can be devastating to hear, it is important to keep your child’s feelings in mind. Consider the child’s age, maturity, and desires, and then carefully choose a living arrangement that is in the child’s best interest, while still respecting their wishes.

Resolve to Treat the Other Parent with Respect, For Your Children’s Sake

Do your best to talk civilly to your ex and treat them with respect, both when you are with your children and without them. Kids are extremely curious, and often listen in on conversations even when they are happening in the other room or over the phone. If your children sense that you and your spouse have been arguing, they may internalize that the fight was their fault. Children and especially teenagers also truly appreciate when their parents try to get along with each other. If you can, consider praising your ex in front of your children, even if doing so is difficult for you. If children feel their parents are making an effort to get along, they will feel safer and more secure.

Resolve to Seek Help if Needed

If unresolved feelings are keeping you or your ex from being positive co-parents, make a pledge to seek professional help. While you and your ex do not need to like each other all of the time to be successful co-parents, you do need to trust each other. If trust is not there, seek the help of a therapist or mediator to resolve your differences.

Divorce is difficult, and co-parenting post-divorce can be extremely challenging at times. Good parents always put their children first, and children of divorce should not be treated any differently. In fact, co-parents should work together to provide extra love and attention to their children, who may blame themselves or have unresolved feelings towards the divorce. By placing your children first in 2016, you are taking a great step towards ensuring your children become mentally healthy and happy adults.

If you believe that you are headed towards a divorce, be sure to seek out the help of a qualified Naperville divorce attorney. Working with a skilled lawyer can provide peace of mind and help ensure that you get a beneficial outcome. At Pesce Law Group, P.C., our attorneys are equipped to handle even the most complicated of divorce cases. Call 630-352-2240 to schedule a consultation today and learn more about the options available to you.


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