3 Tips for Parenting Separately…Yet Successfully

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Christina McGhee is a Divorce Coach, and we are delighted to have her on our blog. Christina McGhee specializes in raising happy, secure children for separated and divorced parents.

Divorce can be stressful, especially when it comes to deciding how you will care for your children.

Children will suffer if the decision about their future is handed to the legal system.

To stay in control, you need to be open-minded and proactive.

To achieve the best results, remember the following tips:

1. It is important to avoid a cookie-cutter approach to divorce. Instead of creating a plan to fit their children’s needs, parents try to mold their children to their goals.

Make sure you base your decisions on your child’s needs.

What works for a family may not be right for yours. Before developing arrangements,
Think about the life of your children BEFORE you divorced. Ask yourself:

How do you plan to maintain the active relationship between your child and both parents?

What will you do to provide them with a flexible structure?

If Dad takes Billy to baseball every Tuesday and Thursday, then he must continue this. If Mom
Maintain routines and relationships by picking up your children every afternoon because Dad is working until 6 pm.
For your children

You can also put things in perspective by looking at the bigger picture.

What will your choices be in a year or five years?

Think outside of the box. Do not limit yourself to only court-based solutions.

2. The children will benefit the most if they feel connected with BOTH their homes.

Do not refer to one household as the “real” house and another as a destination.

If you don’t have the space to give your child their bedroom, create a special place where they can store their belongings and easily find them while they are with you.

Avoid using legalese. For example, avoid words such as visitation, custody, and residential parent.

Use phrases such as parenting schedules and parenting time instead of talking about custody arrangements.

3. Do not try to divide your child’s daily life into hours and minutes.

Do not focus on the amount of time Johnny spends with you. Spend your time thinking of ways to make Johnny’s visit with you memorable.

Parents often ask me if it is a good thing to share equal time between the two homes. My response is that it depends. It depends.

To be successful, you must develop a relationship with an ex-partner that puts the children first.

This means being able to communicate well and be flexible.

Could you please share some information with me about school activities and events?

Are you able to talk with each other without being cold or standoffish in front of your children?

Would you be willing to move to the same neighborhood to make life easier for your children?

Are you flexible with each other?

The factors below will determine if sharing equal time with kids is beneficial for them.

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