Many parents fear a divorce will damage the relationship they have with their kids. It doesn’t have to be that way. The collaborative divorce process will support you and your spouse in maintaining your family relationships during the divorce. After all, you’ll remain co-parents long after your divorce is final. Rebuilding relationships with your family takes work, but it’s worth it.
Collaborative Divorce Encourages Rebuilding Relationships
Respectful relationships are the foundation upon which collaborative divorce is built. This is especially true when you have children together. Dissolving a marriage does not mean dissolve your family. Families are forever. It’s a transition to a time when you evolve – change – where you live and perhaps how you live.
You and your partner can concentrate on rebuilding a new relationship that is future-focused. You and your children can begin rebuilding relationships that are perhaps even stronger than before.
6 Ways to Begin Rebuilding Relationships with Your Kids
Mending a damaged relationship can be “one step forward, two steps back.” Just when you think you’re back on track, something happens, and there’s distance again. Instead of waiting for perfection, look for the good. Notice when your child hangs around a little more than usual. Smile when she walks into the room. Celebrate when you make it through a transition without an argument. Find something positive every day…Slowly, you’ll notice a shift in your thinking. Rather than trying to avoid him, you may start to enjoy him again. – Imperfect Families
1. Make Amends
One of the ways to begin rebuilding relationships with your children is quite simple: apologize. Using age-appropriate language, explain why you think what you did (or said) was wrong and ask if there is anything you can do to “make amends.”
Promise you won’t let it happen again. Then, don’t let it happen again.
2. Use Your Child’s ‘Love Language’
Rebuilding relationships with your children means communicating with them on their terms. “Teach yourself to give love in the way your child receives it,” says Constance Scharff, Ph.D.
3. Don’t Expect Anything
Your child may forgive you but still prefer to live with your ex. Your child may not forgive you but say she “doesn’t want to give up her bedroom,” which is teenager for, “I’m scared and confused about these changes.” Rebuilding relationships with your children takes work and commitment. Most of all, communication lines must be wide open at all times.
4. Don’t Give Up
Rebuilding a relationship often takes time. Your children are worth the time. As you work on building your new life (and your new sense of self), keep reaching out to your kids in healthy, helpful ways.
5. Insert Yourself Into Their Lives
Prioritize band recitals and track meets. Continue to offer “date nights,” even if it’s just dinner and a movie. Don’t focus entirely on the child that is having the most difficulty. All your kids need love and reassurance.
6. Co-Parenting: Combined Forces
Your bright 10-year-old is a master at getting what they want, especially with divorcing parents). With a collaborative divorce, you may have learned effective communication skills to navigate the slippery slope of an emotional divide.
Now, it’s actually easier. You both want what’s best for your children. They’ll be reassured the world is right when they see you presenting a united front as co-parents.
Divorce Done Your Way in Arizona
Traditional divorces are litigious, public and can be expensive. Collaborative divorce is an easier way to manage your Arizona divorce without the courtroom drama.
Best Legal Choices is an Arizona resource for communication, financial-neutral and legal resources that understand how to protect your family now and later. Contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices to guide you through this process.