Parenting is tough, especially when you're ex isn't there to help. However, it can be even more complicated to explain to your children why their parent isn't around. Here are three tips to help your children not only better understand the absence of their other parent but adjust to having one parent as well.
1. Consistently Answer Their Questions
Parents can't be alarmed if their children ask, "where is my mom or dad?" They need to be ready to answer this question whenever it comes up and remain positive about it. The best way to prepare for this is by knowing what you are going to say before your child even asks.
We can still include the actual reason the other parent is not involved without telling our children that the absent parent is a bad person or does not love them. For our own mental and emotional peace, we should keep in mind that we're not making excuses for the absent parent. If your child and other parent decide they want to have a relationship, your child should get to make their own opinion about their parent.
2. Positive Reinforcement
Whether by divorce or just a breakup, parents who split up can potentially have the hardest time explaining to their children why things are the way they are. The good news is there is a way for parents to maintain the positivity in the child's mindset by making sure not to bash the absent parent, and most importantly, not letting the child think the separation has anything to do with them.
It's important to be reassuring, explaining to our children that their mother or father loves them very much and needs time to get themselves together. You don't have to get into the nasty details of the divorce or anything like that. If your ex is the type to promise a visit and pull a no-show, it's still ok for us to tell them that something came up. Ultimately, we must do as much as we can to keep our children mentally and emotionally safe.
3. Keep Memories Alive
Keep positive memories of the absent parent in front of the children at all times. Just because things didn't end well between you and your child's other parent, doesn't mean they need to have a bad image of them.
Show them the times they shared with the absent parent so that they have a way to remember them by. Gather memories that are important and share them whenever the absent parent comes up. This will help answer any questions your child might have about their other parent.
Protect Your Child's Interest
Splitting up can be very traumatic for children. A divorce can be the hardest to live through for you and your child. Additionally, not all separations are amicable, which makes the situation even more difficult. If you need any additional information about how to handle child custody or divorce issues, contact Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC. We are here to protect you and your child's interests.
Call us today at (951) 418-2770 to schedule a consultation with our Murrieta child custody lawyer.