Kids Love Both Parents. 4 Tips to Stop Playing Tug-of-War With Their Hearts
Divorce knocks your world upside down. No one gets married and hopes they will get divorced. There's a reason "till death do us part" is a core part of many wedding vows. Yet, 50% of first marriages and 67% of second marriages end in divorce.
Many times we view divorce as a failure. In reality, it is a change in a relationship, not failure. In marriages without children, divorce signifies a legal finality and ending of a relationship. With kids, the relationship does not end, it just changes. Divorced parents still bat for the same team, their role just shifts and evolves. There is no trading to another team, though you do sit on the bench at times, when your other parent is directing connecting with your child.
Check out these tips for avoid playing tug of war with your kids
1. Please, Go See a Therapist or Co-Parenting Coach! Do not delay, make the call today! Your kids will thank you! Divorce is the death of a relationship you once had with your ex. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of the life you hoped for. It is too easy to get wrapped up in your emotional pain and sadness to be a fair, compassionate co-parent.
2. Take Your Child To Their Own Therapist! Remember, you have just rocked their world. Children love both of their parents. They don't want to choose or hurt anyone's feelings. They need help working through their own feelings and getting used to the idea that their life is permanently changing.
3. Talk To Your Kids About Divorce Together. Your kids need both of you to explain what will happen next and reassure them that they are still loved and cared for and it is not their fault. They also need to know this is a permanent change. While there may be times both of you are present for outings and special occasions, this does not mean you will ever be together again as a couple.
4. Love Your Kids More Than You Hate Your Ex! You will forever be a co-parent with your ex. There will be graduations, weddings, grandchildren, visits from college, etc. Kids, teens and adult children get stressed out by parents that can't get along. Ask yourself, would my child be proud of my behavior? If not, please stop.
If this blog has been helpful and you would like more info or want to schedule an appointment, call Sara @913-244-8786.
Until next time!
Sara Minges, MS, Co-Parent Coach
Sara Minges, M.S. is a Blended Family/Co-Parenting Life Coach with 25+ years experience being part of a blended family. A former play therapist specializing in high conflict family attachment relationships, she coaches parents through the divorce process, ways to help their kids adjust and helping blending families successfully transition. Sara holds a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Child and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, a M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Avila University and she's the Owner of Playful Awareness, a co-parenting coaching practice in the Kansas City area. She has been featured in KC Parent Magazine, Yahoo Personals, KC Live, Better Kansas City, 41 Action News, Fox 4, Women's Radio Network, KMBZ and the Lawrence Journal World. Sara can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.