By the Family Lawyers of Geary, Porter & Donovan
The following tips will help you be more productive as a single parent with your kids:
Do not talk badly about your ex in front of your child. Your children are part you, part your ex. It makes kids feel lousy and “less than” when they hear you complain about or demean their other parent – even if what you say is true. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Your children will figure out soon enough what their parents are all about.
Do not say anything in a text or email that you would not want a judge to read. Your ex might be so provocative that you just cannot help defending yourself. After all, it’s only a text and the kids won’t see it. Stop. What will the judge think when he reads what you have written about the mother of your children? Do you still think it was wise to make those threats in an email or text?
Do not post something on Facebook that you would not want a judge to read. Inevitably, the Mimosas you had at brunch with your child in tow will not look good when the judge sees your smiling face on Facebook.
Find something positive to say about your child’s other parent. It might be that you tell your daughter she has nice hair, just like her father. You might say your son has beautiful eyes, just like his mother. Whatever it is, say it because your child needs to hear it.
Enjoy your time without your children! Enjoy your time alone and don’t dwell on what your kids are doing with your ex.
When your children are with their other parent, do not make them feel guilty or that they have to worry about you. Let them know that you are doing well when they are not with you because it isn’t your child’s job to make you happy.
Find some way to communicate about your children with their other parent. The more often and consistently you communicate with the other parent about your child’s grades, achievements, activities and life, the less likely it is you will find yourself back in court. Keep up the communication and keep away from court.
When you are with your children, enjoy them! Do not question them about what they did with mom or dad. Do not ask them who they love more, whose house they like better. Do not ask them to make a choice between you. Just enjoy them every minute you are with them. It’s true that they grow up fast.