Advice, advice! There is a lot of it for separating parents, and it can sound very critical of parents. We acknowledge that separation is rarely a smooth ride, for parents or children, and most parents are doing their best. Sometimes that ‘best’ doesn’t look great to an outsider, and to be honest, sometimes not to the parent themselves. Know that our tips are given with kindness.
It is hard to be the most top notch parent you can be if you are engaged in a war with your ex partner. Deciding to call a truce on that war is a life long bonus for yourself and your children. It involves faking it till you make it, remembering that your kids can read your facial expressions and body language, so you have to learn to be a really good fake.
Nobody is totally to blame or totally without responsibility when there is conflict. It isn’t easy to be honest about your own and your ex’s strengths and weaknesses. Especially their strengths at times when you feel angry and betrayed. Nor is it easy to be honest about your own weaknesses when you are struggling with blame and anger.
It is magic for your children to hear you sharing good memories, and for you to keep all discussions about the divorce away from them.
Stay in touch with your supporters, such as your friends and family, but train them early on that it is not helpful for them to ‘support’ you by siding against the parent of your children. That will keep you stuck in the trenches.
Stay in touch with your counsellor or psychologist. They are there to help you work through the ‘war’ without creating casualties.