Splitting up from your child’s other parent is a major step, but it’s often in everyone’s best interests. As you start to navigate life as a single parent, you should ensure that you continue to do what’s best for the children.
There are a few mistakes that you should avoid making. Remembering these may help to make the parenting situation as stress-free as possible.
Mistake #1: Relaxing the rules at first
Letting your children get away with things you normally wouldn’t tolerate might be tempting. This sets a bad precedent now that you’re going to be a single parent. The most effective way to help the children adjust to the new way of life is to establish the rules immediately so there’s no confusion about what’s allowed and what’s not.
Mistake #2: Disparaging your ex
Even if your ex was a terrible partner, they’re still your child’s other parent. Never badmouth them because that may make the children believe they need to think ill of their other parent. Instead, encourage your child’s relationship with your ex.
Mistake #3: Refusing to compromise
You and your ex may need to compromise on things sometimes. For example, switching weekends might be necessary if one parent is sick or if there’s family coming in from out of town. You must think about what’s best for the child and act accordingly.
Mistake #4: Focusing on material things
Children may bring material things back and forth between items. Never place an emphasis on those. The children may forget something or lose something, but in the end, that’s just stuff.
Mistake #5: Sending messages through the children
Always speak directly to your ex about things related to the children. It might seem easier to have the children relay messages, but never give in to that thought. Children may relay information incorrectly, which can be problematic.
One of the most important steps you can take when you split up from your child’s other parent is to get the parenting plan in order. This outlines everything from parenting guidelines to the parenting time schedule. It should be based on your child’s needs, so be prepared to come up with customized solutions to the issues.