Many divorces are cauldrons of anger, shame and blame. Those emotions are poison to any family. Maintaining a loving family means both parents must decide to make rules that will lessen any negative consequences on the children.
No blame and no shame are allowed
Don’t speak ill of the opposite spouse. Don’t allow your children to take sides or speaking rudely of the other parent. It is natural to blame someone for the dissolution of a marriage. Both adults and children may feel compelled to do so. If you need to vent or bounce ideas off someone, get a good therapist; better yet, get family therapy. Parents need to model good behavior by being kind, understanding and forgiving.
You divorced your spouse, not your children
Number one, don’t change your relationship with your children. Be there for birthdays, take photos before your kid’s prom, go to their baseball games. If you really meant it when you said to your children, “It isn’t your fault,” then prove it every day. Both spouses should keep on being the best parents they can.
Taking outings that involve the entire family
Family outings, involving both parents, should continue. Picnics, movie outings, trips to the beach or mountains, or trips to zoo can continue through the divorce. Continue to go worship together and visit relatives. Friends or relatives may not understand and may even try to sabotage you. These brave, new rules for parenting after a divorce may threaten many others. Gently but firmly, tell them that you got a divorce, but you both will continue to co-parent from a loving place.
Find good legal help
There are counselors in reputable law offices who will be able to look squarely at the facts and advise you how best to proceed in a fair and civilized manner. You don’t want to break your children’s mother or father. The only persons you would break are the kids and they won’t forget it. Conduct yourselves like a lady and gentleman at all times.
Civility is a decision, like not to eating spaghetti with your hands in a restaurant. Just decide to be a decent human being, no matter what the provocation. Your first priority is to keep your family intact. Even if your marriage is broken, your family shouldn’t be. Your relationship with each other, while changed, will continue to involve parenthood forever.