Going through a divorce can obviously be tough on the family, and a new reality will start to form. But none of that means that you can’t take this big life change as an opportunity to do more to be a good parent. It’s up to you to do what you can to be the parent that your children need you to be.
We’re going to take a look today at some of the things you might want to start doing differently if you want to improve your skills as a parent. We’re all capable of doing more and being better as parents, but if you don’t really know where to start with getting better, the ideas we’re about to discuss should help you get started.
Focus on Helping Your Kids Cope with the Change
It’s important, as a parent, to be there for your kids as they go through the process of navigating this whole new situation. It’s going to be something completely new and different for them and they might not understand it to begin with. You need to reassure them and help them cope as they adjust to the new situation. That means listening to their concerns, answering their questions the best you can and just helping them through the process as it all develops and unfolds.
Don’t Allow the Divorce or Relationship with Your Ex Affect Your Parenting
One of the biggest challenges you’ll need to overcome when getting used to parenting after a divorce is not allowing your relationship with your ex to impact your job as a parent. Those things should always be kept completely separate from one another. Even if your relationship with your ex is very bad and there’s a lot of bitterness on both sides, you need to make sure that your focus on parenting and being the best parent you can be isn’t distracted from at all.
Stay Close By and Ready to be Called Upon
Where you locate yourself after the divorce is something you should consider and think about very carefully. Staying close to where your kids are based with their other parent is usually what’s best. When you stay close and you’re nearby, it means you can be there at short notice whenever you need to be. As you should know by now, parenting can be a 24 hour job. Your help and assistance might be required at a moment’s notice. Basing yourself too far away could lead to a more distant relationship developing.
Find Ways to Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem
As a parent, it’s your job to do everything possible to help your child become the best version of themselves they can be as they grow up and develop. You should find ways to boost your self-esteem and to make them feel better about themselves. And there are so many different ways of doing that. You can be there to support them in their hobbies and endeavors. And you can also praise them when they do well and always be there to support them.
Make the Most of All the Time You Have with Your Kids
Making the most of all the time you have with your kids is definitely a good idea. You won’t have as much of it as you used to because you’ll probably be splitting the time with them with your ex. That means you have to start putting quality over quantity. Just because you’re spending less time with them than in the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to enjoy that time less. Quality is always more important than quantity. If you have an equal parent time arrangement, that’ll provide you with plenty of quality time together.
Be a Good Role Model
One of the best things you can be to your child is their role model. Like it or not, your kids are going to look up to you and they’re going to be very heavily influenced by what they see you doing and your actions in general. You probably want your kids to be proud to have you as a parent, so do your best to live your life as a positive role model. Show them that they can rely on you and that you’re living life in a positive way.
Be Cautious About Dating
One of the things that you should approach with the utmost caution is dating. After a divorce, the upheaval that’s created for your kids will be massive. So if you follow that up not long after with a new person that you’re introducing to them, it can be even more overwhelming for them. It’s best to tread carefully and leave a little time before you start introducing your kids to the people you’re dating. That should only be done when you’re sure that a long-lasting relationship is developing and growing.
Don’t be the Parent Who’s Only Interested in the Fun Stuff
One trap that lots of parents fall into after a divorce is only being there for the fun stuff. You don’t want to be that parent because although it might be enjoyable for the kids, it means you’re not being everything you need to be to them as a parent. Try to be a well-rounded parent that does the job properly and completely. It’s better for your kids in the long run.
Keep Rules Consistent
After a divorce, you need to make sure that your kids have rules in place that are consistent across both households and both parents. That’s why you should consult with your ex and make sure that your kids have that consistency of expectations that they so badly need.
We can all do more to be better parents, so why not take your divorce as the thing that spurs you on to do more and be better for your kids. Each of the ideas we’ve discussed above will help you to be a better parent and give your children what they need from you going forward.
What other ways are there that you can do to be a better parent after a divorce? Let me know in the comments below!