Do you believe that overindulging makes them love you more?
When your marriage is over and the dust begins to settle, don’t become a Disneyland dad after divorce. You have always been a good dad and now you are striving harder to become even better now that the stress of divorce is over. Now that you are solo parenting, her are some things your will face and should consider.
Emotions and Divorce
As you begin sharing child custody and visitation, you may realize that parenting is much different than expected. Time spent with your children is now outlined in your divorce decree which must be followed. As you begin circling the dates on your calendar you will be spending it with your kids, emotions often arise such as disappointment, sadness, and even anger.
The lack of physical time with your children can create a feeling of insecurity. These insecurities can create questions such as, will the kids love their mom more than me, will they become attached to my ex-wife’s new dating partner, and if so, where will this leave me?
Within most failed marriages, guilt is usually felt by both spouses. There may be guilt due to the changes that divorce has created for the family; changes that may have created a less than pleasant atmosphere and environment. You may feel very uncomfortable while juggling all of these emotions and parenting your kids. Often times, parents begin overindulging their kids due to the mixture of these emotions and changes that divorce brings.
Overindulging Your Kids After Divorce
Overindulging can come in the form of giving your kids your undivided attention when spending time with you with the goal of seeking pleasure while minimizing any disappointments. This environment of all pleasure may be offered by no rules, chores, or discipline rather having a Disneyland environment of just pleasure and happiness. Another sign of overindulging is that of giving lavish gifts to your kids at gift-giving occasions or for no reason at all. The bigger – the better!
When you begin co-parenting, it is wise to check-in with the feelings that you have and how you need to solo parent. It’s normal to feel totally at a loss when you have raised and nurtured your children on a daily basis under one roof and now everything is so different. Divorce creates consequences and you must decide how you will solo parent from this point forward.
Practicing self-care is also important while adjusting to the myriad of changes.
Children Need Security
Kids need structure, security and even boundaries that can only be found from parents. Security comes from knowing what is expected of them and having a stable home environment — not one that is based on emotions alone.
• They need skills to handle life’s ups and downs, not just the pleasurable aspects.
• They need a counselor to listen when life isn’t all glitter and glam so they learn life skills from their parent’s point of view.
• They need a consistent role model who teaches them how to parent – rules, expectations for discipline and school work as well as consistency for their home.
Kids need and want boundaries and good parenting will be shown not only by the actions that you give but also what you teach along the way. Nothing can provide more security in life after the changes that divorce brings than having structure, expectations and, consistency across both homes.
No matter how tempting that overindulging may seem, is it worth it? Can you find other ways to let your children know how much you miss them when you are apart by making good memories with them, even with when they include boundaries and parental expectations?
Parenting After Divorce
Don’t become a Disneyland dad after divorce. As you attempt to move forward, learn to co-parent with your ex-spouse all while solo fathering as well. A good way to begin is to become in tune with your emotions and the divorce. Be aware of the tendencies that parents can overindulge the kids after divorce and realize that children need security above all else. Establishing parenting goals for yourself post-divorce will help set limits.
Previously version published on Divorce Tool Box
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