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As we can all agree, divorce is undoubtedly difficult for everyone involved. Understanding the needs of your child during and after the process is very important when parenting. As you consider how you can take on better parenting methods during divorce, you must keep in mind that a child’s experience will differ depending on the situation. Specifically, their age and personality are large factors in how they will react during the process. The details of your personal situation will also be important to keep in mind when figuring out how you can be there for your child.

With the brand new changes to the Divorce Act, courts now prioritize the needs of the child and understand that their wellbeing relies on the relationships they have with their loved ones. Here are 3 tips on how you can practice better parenting throughout divorce:

Celebrate Communication
Fostering an environment where communication is celebrated can have a lot of positive benefits for you and your child’s relationship. It is natural for your child to cope with the situation through their own process of grieving. During this time make an effort to understand all of their emotions. You may already be recognizing their sadness and confusion, but their stress may also look like anger, discomfort and distrust. Trying to understand their perspective can help you guide them towards trust and acceptance.

Here are some ways you can begin positive communication:

  • Ask your child questions about how new changes make them feel
  • Let your child ask you questions when they are confused
  • Be open with your child so that they find comfort in sharing with you
  • Have conversations about boundaries
  • Learn how you can reduce your child’s anxiety and make it known that you are there for them

Stay Consistent
Managing your child’s transition between multiple homes can be difficult. Differing parenting styles begin to affect a child after they experience varying amounts of freedom in two different spaces. It is not your job to enforce rules into the home of your ex-spouse, but rather to remain consistent in the ways that you parent at yours.

Here are some ways you can stay consistent while parenting during divorce:

  • Establish routines so that your home becomes a place of comfort rather than unpredictability
  • Establish rules clearly so that when your ex-spouse allows something you don’t, your child knows not to expect the same from you
  • Accept that building trust and balance takes time after divorce and that staying consistent is an effective method to achieving those things

Don’t Make Your Child Pick Sides
Putting your child in the position where they feel in the middle during and after the divorce is harmful to their trusting abilities. Unresolved conflicts may continue between you and your ex-spouse even after divorce. It is important not to talk to your child about your ex in a way that might impact them to take sides. Your child needs to feel that they are being respected by you. Respect comes with giving them the freedom to form a relationship with their other parent on their own terms.

Here are some ways you can remain neutral:

  • Try not to ask your child to give you information about your ex’s life
  • Avoid criticizing your ex’s parenting choices in front of your child
  • Don’t use your child as a telephone to get through to your ex

At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.

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