It's important for a non-custodial parent to maintain a close relationship with his child.
Parenting through and beyond divorce is challenging. However, providing children with plenty of love, affection and consistency can help children adjust more easily. Keeping both parents in the loop supports children and gives the kids a better chance of growing up to be healthy and well-balanced people.
1Keep both parents in your child's life by making a real effort to co-parent with your ex-spouse. Just because you don't share the same house anymore doesn't mean you can't share parenting responsibilities. According to HelpGuide.org, co-parenting is the best way to ensure that your child's needs are met and the child maintains a close relationship with both parents.
2Be honest with your child. If your child has questions about the other parent or his new living conditions, answer your child honestly. Don't say anything negative about your ex-spouse. Young children can be torn between their loyalty to both parents.
3Reassure your child that you and your ex-spouse love him. Explain that just because the two of you no longer live together, you will always be there for the child. Children can feel guilty, believing they did something wrong to make their parents break up. Reassure your child that he had nothing to do with the divorce. Explain that people sometimes change and can no longer live together. Reiterate to the child that he is not to blame and that you both love him.
4Be consistent. Now that you are divorced, routines will not be the same for you or your child. However, it is important that you try to be consistent in rules, schedules and routines. Routines provide a sense of security for a child so make an effort to maintain them. Be consistent with rules, too. Divorced parents sometimes feel guilty about the divorce and relax the rules of discipline in an attempt to compensate for the absent parent. Lavish your child with love and affection, but don't let him break the rules, recommends KidsHealth.org.
5Communicate with your ex-spouse for the sake of your child. Your ex-partner is probably the last person you want to see or talk to, but it will be necessary at times. If you prefer not to see your ex-spouse face-to-face, communicate with him through text or phone. Keep your conversation focused on your child. Keep him in the loop about events such as doctor's appointments and play dates.
6Be flexible and compromise. You might not want to do anything to make life easier for your ex-spouse, but remember that you are compromising for your child not your ex-partner. Make an effort to compromise when it is in the best interest of your child. Rearrange your schedule if possible when you need to pick up or drop off your child. Compromising will help keep the peace and might make your ex-spouse more willing to compromise too.
7Encourage continued relationships between your child and his grandparents and other relatives. Children should not feel guilty for wanting to spend time with family members. Ensure that your child has access to his relatives and let them know they are welcome to visit your child.
- You can avoid conflict with your ex-spouse or at least keep it to a minimum by putting your child first. Put your feelings aside and put your child's needs first.If you need to vent, surround yourself with a healthy support group of friends and family members. Seek counseling if you feel you need professional assistance in dealing with your feelings.
- Watch for signs of stress that could indicate your child is having difficulty adjusting to the divorce. Changes such as sadness, moodiness, changes in sleep, appetite or differences in interactions with friends might indicate stress. Consult a pediatrician or a therapist for guidance.