Beebe and O'Neil

3 tips to help you and your children during a divorce

Getting through their parents' divorce is a trying event for children. When they are going through this transition, some children may have trouble adjusting. They need to continue to receive the support of both parents to help them cope during the process and in its aftermath.

It can be difficult to do this when you are experiencing the same major life change yourself. Finding things to help yourself and them get through the divorce process might be your goal. One thing that might be beneficial to everyone is if you keep the focus of the parenting situation on the children.

Don't stoop too low

If your ex is trying to push your buttons, it is easy to start to do the same thing to them. It is always a better idea to take the proverbial high road so that you can try to keep the peace in the situation. This isn't always going to be easy, but remember that your children are learning from you how to deal with contentious situations. At a minimum, you and your ex should commit to keeping things calm when the children are around. Handle disputes and tense matters when the two adults are alone, if possible.

Find new traditions

Children thrive on consistency, but this doesn't mean that you have to do everything exactly as you did when you were married. Instead, develop new, fun traditions that your children can enjoy. Since you only have to consider yourself and them, you might be able to enjoy things that your ex didn't.

Children who are old enough to voice their wishes can help plan which new things they want to try. Remember, if everyone doesn't like something when you give it a shot, you can move on to something else.

Set a firm parenting plan

The parenting plan must reflect what is best for the children. You should make sure that it covers all the major points, including the schedule, ground rules and financial support. By getting all of this in writing in the agreement, you reduce the chance of disagreements later. You can even put in a plan for handling any parenting disputes to help things stay on track in those situations.

You and your ex probably aren't going to agree on all matters. You should ask yourself if each matter is important enough to battle with your ex. If the kids are safe and healthy and your ex isn't violating the parenting plan, you might decide to back away and watch the situation.

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