Parenting Class Online
Transitioning Children After a Divorce
One issue that we concentrate on in our parenting class is living in positive solutions. An area that often brings up tension between ex-spouses is transitioning children between homes.
Transitioning children after a divorce is a tough thing. You don't want to see the ex, yet you are curious to see him/her. You want to hurt the ex because of the misery they put you through, but your kids are there listening and watching your every move. How do you act when you drop off your kids? Do you say hello? How can you avoid feeling awkward, but still show your kids you can be a good ex-partner and a great parent?
If tension is high and tempers are flaring, arrange to have pickups and drop offs at a day care, school or a neutral third party to avoid contact with the other parent until things get more peaceful. Regardless of where you meet, prepare your children for their transitions between homes. Let them know in advance which days are dads and which days are moms.
On the transitions day try to follow a routine that's predictable and comfortable. Be mindful of what you say on your way to the transition and during the transition. If you feel your anger level start to flare, take a few deep breathes and back away. There should be no fighting or adult issues when you transition children. If you have things to discuss with your ex do it at a different time, through email, text or phone calls, but not when you are dropping off your children. Children do not like conflict and will want to avoid changing homes if it means mom and dad are "just going to fight."
If you slip up and start to argue or fight during the transition, remind your children that adults have a hard time adjusting to divorce too, and that they may still be showing their anger or sadness through arguing and bad behavior.
Kids like to know that adults are human too and they make mistakes. But if you shove your feelings under the rug and pretend like it didn't happen it will leave your kids feeling confused and not sure if they can trust your behavior. There will be times when things are forgotten during the transition either on purpose or mistakenly left behind. Remember, this is not a perfect world, life happens; some forgetfulness, some lateness, some changes in schedules, and other unforeseen problems are bound to occur.
Adopt an "I can handle it attitude" and move on. Remember, this is about your kids. You are not married to the same partner anymore so it all about your children. Make them comfortable to go between homes and they will enjoy the process much more.
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