FACT: every divorce affects lives and who is the most affected? It is the children. Some parents are so caught up with the war of their divorce that they forget that the kids are caught in the middle and are suffering. Yes, it’s going to be a bumpy road, but to ease that process takes great effort on both parties.
Here are some terminologies or things to consider as shared by Mike Mistracci on Lisa Decker’s teleseminar, Divorce Speak. Mike Mistracci is from Baltimore, Maryland, a nationally recognized family law attorney, mediator and a collaborative divorce practitioner. He is also the author of an award winning book entitled: Stop Fighting over the Kid: Resolving Day-To-Day Custody Conflict in Divorce Situations
1. Splitting the Baby.
At the early stage of separation where anxiety level is high, both parents will be playing a kind of a tug-of-war game over the child’s custody. Basically, it is the fight for the child/children and no one is willing to give in. It is constant fighting back and forth over custody, thus the “splitting the baby” situation. A schedule should be set in place and kept to prevent chaos for everybody involved.
2. The Best Interest of the Child Standard.
Another lingo will be, “the best interest of the child standard.” Some parents will use that phrase, “for the best interest” of their child, but really, they have their own personal interest in mind and not of the child. It’s about who has the control and power, the right and wrong. The court will also look at several factors (personality of the parents, financial capability, age & sex of the child, etcetera) before they can decide who should have custody.
3. The Perspective.
A parent should look at the situation in a positive light with emotions, anger in check so that you can concentrate fully on improving the family life from the way things were before at home. It’s about shifting your attention to what is right among all of what is wrong.
4. Forgiveness Matters
The words “I’m sorry” can go a long, long way. It does not make a man lesser. Just having to hear that diffuses everything, though it will take some time, but eventually it will. It will take the wind out of sail and make life better, and of course, forgiveness lightens up one’s load and takes all the negative emotions bottled down.
5. Respecting the other Parent’s time with the Child
Give the child privacy when the child is on the phone or in the home of your ex-partner. Do not stand and hover over the child, simply walk away and give the child privacy. If a parent will do the right thing long enough, the other parent will sooner or later get tired of doing wrong things and then they will turn around.
6. Do Not Bad-mouth the Other Parent
Give the child the love and affection as much as a parent can. If one parent does not hold up to what has been discussed, talk to the child to avoid false expectations. or they may need to talk to a counselor about that issue so the child can understand and will not feel rejected. Do not bash the other parent or put him/her in a bad light by saying destroyer words; it will destroy the confidence of the child also.
7. The Significant Other
It is inevitable for one to not fall in love again. This is the part when “the significant other” should know their place. There are times that significant others will interact and deal with the child but one should be conscious of the limitations in that relationship. Most of the time that significant other should know when to take the backseat and not make the situation fire up and make it worst for the child involved. The important thing is for the stepparents to let the children feel that they are not there to replace the other parent, but they are there because they care for the child.