Being a parent is a tough but vitally important job. Being a divorced parent ups the ante considerably, which is compounded by the upheaval the children experience when their parents split up.
As parents, it can be challenging to navigate through the shoals of a divorce. Mistakes get made and the damage can be extensive. But one way of mitigating some of the damage from divorce is to avoid these common parenting mistakes:
Making the kids be your messengers
In today’s high-tech world, there are far too many communication options to ever ask the kids to relay messages to your ex. If it’s too difficult to communicate civilly in person or on the phone, use texts, emails or co-parenting apps to communicate with one another.
Not listening to your children
Some kids are open books, while others can be hard nuts to crack to determine what they are really thinking and feeling. Savvy parents know to “listen” with more than their ears. Pay attention to nonverbal cues that may give you a closer idea of what they really feel about the situation that has become their new normal.
Divorce is traumatic to kids of all ages — even adult children of divorcing parents can be affected. But adolescents are particularly vulnerable because they are already undergoing so many physical and emotional changes at the same time. They may need a little therapeutic assistance to get over the rougher spots in the transition.
If you are unsure where to find a good therapist, ask your child’s pediatrician or your Tennessee family law attorney for a referral to a counselor in your area.