As a parent, making memories is part of the territory. Seeing that smile on your child’s face as you take them on a bike ride or play a game of catch with them in the backyard is something that you will never forget.
These types of moments are important, especially after a divorce. You may no longer be living in the same household as your child, and those memories may be something that you cling to when it is not your parenting time.
Any type of depression and anxiety that can develop during this difficult time in your life can be treated. For those that can, visiting a place associated with a specific memory of your child combats the depression that can develop during this time, according to a study published in Clinical Psychological Science.
You, as a parent, will need to be in the best head space you can be, so that when it is your parenting time with your child, you are ready to make more memories with them and be the parent that they need.
During the initial few parenting times with a noncustodial parent, your child will let you know how they feel. Whether they seem tense or awkward around you, it is important to provide the comfort and reassurance that they need, in order to help them adjust to this new situation.
One of the easiest ways to help them feel comfortable in this new environment is to give them their own space in your new home. Whether their new bedroom is in your new house or your new apartment, it is important for them to begin to adjust to thinking of this place as another home for them.
Discipline and parental alienation
Making them feel safe and comfortable does not mean that you stop being their parent. There are moments during this adjustment process, where they may look to test their boundaries. They may not be handling the divorce well, or they may be projecting their custodial parent’s feelings and acting on behalf of them.
Parental alienation also may be at play, and while it can be a challenge to manage a child who is actively fighting against you, as their parent, it is vital that you never give up on your child. They need you now more than ever, and during these moments, you have to toe the line of establishing a more positive relationship with your child while avoiding becoming “a Disneyland Dad.”
One of the easiest ways that many parents establish a better relationship with their children is catering to their every whim. When a child wants a pet for the home, they get the pet. If a child wants to go to the ballet, the parent buys tickets to the ballet, and while behavior like this is good on occasion and in a healthier relationship, it is not something a parent should do every time a child asks.
There are times when you simply cannot afford to do what a child wants or buy what a child wants you to buy or cannot afford to do these things at the frequency that they desire. Making memories does not require you, as a parent, to bankrupt yourself for the sake of having your child think of you favorably.
It also does not do you any favors in improving your co-parenting relationship. As difficult as it may be to maintain a co-parenting relationship, it is in your best interest and the best interest of your child to attempt to be civil and communicate with one another.
If reestablishing that co-parenting relationship becomes too difficult and your co-parent begins to reduce your parenting time, it is important to contact your attorney and make sure that your parenting time remains unchanged.
Making sure you get your parenting time is an action that shows how much you love your child, as well as your intent to be an active parent. By taking this action, you have established yourself as a parent who is willing to fight for your child.
This way, you can focus on the fun aspects that being a parent has to offer. You can go to their choir concerts or help them with their science homework. You can teach them how to cook family recipes or help them overcome obstacles in their own life.
These are times that a child will look back on and cherish, but only if you put forth the time and effort to be there for them when they need it. As challenging as it may be to work around a parenting plan schedule, it still is possible to make the memories with your child that will last forever.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.