Previously published in Examiner
Part 4 of the making joint custody series
Tips to Make Joint Custody Work Continued
Do not speak ill of the other parent in front of the child. A social worker with over 20 years experience, Barbara Hauser maintains, “Parents have no idea how much they are hurting their children when they prime their child to criticize the other parent.” Remember no matter how much you may hate your ex, or consider him a bad husband, this is your child’s father; or the case can be reversed, this is your child’s mother. You child loves both parents and is already having a hard time with the fact that you are divorcing. Don’t add this extra stress.
Reinforce how both parents love the child equally. Do not bring up the other parent’s faults, but try to address any concerns the child has. Don’t try to one-up the other parent, for example don’t say things like, “Oh sure your father takes you on weekends and thinks he is doing great, I have you all the time.”
Never let the child feel that he or she is forbidden to bring up the name of the other parent in your house. Encourage the child to share all aspects of his or her life with you. However, make sure that you are not just pumping the child for information about the parent. Any disclosures the child makes must come naturally by the child and worked out in the most helpful fashion.
Spend as much quality time with the child as you can; talk, play games together, teach your child new skills, do homework together, and do not let the TV or video games become the child’s babysitter when he or she is with you.
To be continued
Montreal Single Parents Meet up Group
For Montrealers looking for a meetup group to share experiences