Gary Neuman, creator of the Sandcastles Therapy Program, says that even after divorce, children can still have the very best that both parents have to offer. Try to practice his effective, basic divorce principles when dealing with your children.
Become a New Kind of Parent
After divorce, each parent has to learn both discipline and emotional understanding—responsibilities they likely once split-up. Ask yourself what you can improve on and do so through therapy, courses or support groups—do whatever is necessary for the well-being of your child.
Respect the Other Parent
When you make a bad comment about your ex-spouse, you might as well be saying the same thing to your child. Kids don't make the distinction. The blame game will crush kids. When you say things like, "It would be nice if your dad attended an occasional school function," the hurt can run just as deep as name-calling.
Make the Other Parent Count
In the future, your presence at special occasions will take on a new meaning for your child. You will likely be required to see your ex-spouse at them (graduations, weddings and so on). Start practicing cordial behavior now! Participate with your ex in your child's birthday parties, school events or other brief public gatherings for long-term success.
Published on September 16, 2002