Divorce complicates things. No surprise, especially for anyone whose lived through this process as an adult or a child. It is especially not easy if you and your ex are not on the same program with the children. It’s important to understand you can’t control the actions of your ex, nor do you want to.
You can try to get on the same page with your ex, with active communication about your children: their needs, and their health. Possibly you are not married any more due to a lack of communicating. If you are both actively communicating about your children, then that is wonderful; either way it may be helpful to read on and learn more.
For those of you who don’t exactly agree with your ex’s relationship with your children, and you have tried to meet in the middle or on the same page unsuccessfully, you can still build a consistent plan to move forward. No matter what your ex does with your children–not eating the right foods, too much TV time, no physical or emotional conditioning, no structure or a “fly by the seat of your pants” approach to child rearing, no rules or at least no consistent rules—and court is not an option, you can still make healthy decisions in your own home. The lesson will not be lost on your children, without having to drive the point home, that you value consistent parenting decisions.
Start with structure. Build routine into your child’s lives. Allow them to be and feel safe with their new arrangement. Make your children your priority. Find and create as much time as possible with your kids (work it into the decree if possible) whether its coaching, evening dates, doctors wellness visits, etc. Eat breakfast with them. Make dinner together. Find personal time after they have gone to bed. Consistency works miracles. Let your young children see they can rely on you. Allow your children to focus on things that are more important for a child, such as family, friends, school, sports, fun, creating new relationships, and maybe religion.
It’s possible your ex will feel threatened by the positive developments in your relationship with your children. Words may fly or attempts may be made to manipulate your child’s ideas, but stay the course and remain focused on what is important to your children. Do not put your children in the middle.
Regardless of what you hear through small lips, stay focused on your gifts as a parent. It doesn’t matter what your ex says or does: it doesn’t change the fact you are a loving parent who prioritizes the best interests of the kids. Your children will grow and mature with your support and guidance. Through your consistent parenting, you will build a mutual understanding with your children about stability. This is the very platform on which to foster and sustain a healthy, loving, safe, and secure long-term relationship with your child.