Nothing is easy about a divorce, but one of the most heart-breaking aspects is feeling disconnected from your kids. You may not be able to stand your ex, but this should not be a reason to avoid being in your child’s life. A divorce is the end of the marriage, but your relationship with your children should continue, demonstrating unconditional love in good and bad times. Here are five suggestions that can help:
1. Make your presence consistent. Show your child they are a priority by attending their games, parties, and events. Be present and continue to be a parent. It’s not your child’s job to remind you of every event; you’re the adult, get it on your schedule.
2. Make the most of the time you do have. You may not have your child 24/7, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have quality time. Get involved in your child’s interests and continue being a mentor for them. They don’t need another friend; they need a parent.
3. Communicate through phone calls, funny texts, and letters as much as possible. It’s important your child hears from you frequently. You can achieve that with FaceTime, phone calls, videos, and texts. Remind them of favorite memories and shared times together.
4. Never bad mouth your ex. Your child will handle the divorce easier if they know you respect and are willing to co-parent with your ex. As much as possible, be respectful and work with your ex; it’s an act of love for your child’s well-being.
5. Create a space for your child in your home. Having two homes can be confusing, especially if the child feels like they do not have their own space. Let your child help decorate their own room and make it comfortable so they feel secure and wanted in your home.
Kids need both their parents in their lives, and the process of divorce can make that more challenging. The greatest gift you can give your child is to respect their other parent and let them know you are committed to them. Demonstrate that no matter where you live, you will always be their parent and there for them.