Tips for Coping with Time Limitations and Parental Guilt: |
• When you're sharing your child's time with your ex-partner, it can be tempting to think that your relationship with your children will suffer. However, you need to keep in mind that quality of your time with your child is what is important, and not how much time you're spending with them each day or each week. Take the time that you do have with your children and enjoy every moment, focus on them, enjoy a mutual interest, and interact with them completely. Bake cookies, play a game, work on homework or housework together.
• Keep it simple. Don't set huge Legal goals because you feel guilty about the decline of your marriage. It can be tempting to plan large events with your children to compensate for the guilt and negative emotions you feel. Instead, focus on simple activities that you and your children can both enjoy. Take a walk down the greenway, camp in your garden, play a favorite board game, or relax over afternoon tea. These basic joyful activities will help you enjoy your children and build lovely memories for future generations.
• Take the time to develop daily routines that matter to you and your children, and use this time to connect. Even when you get ready for bed, bathe, have dinner, or tidy your home, you have a variety of opportunities to connect with your child. Turn these everyday tasks into daily rituals by adding songs, special tableware, or a specific verse or poem to the event. Researchers have shown that routine and rhythm in the home helps children to adapt to the change, and that fathers who add this type of structure to the family routine by bathing their children can help their children build future relationships.
Developing Consistency Between Caregivers:
One key factor in developing positive behavior in children is consistent parenting from both parties involved, even if the children are in two separate homes. All parents and caregivers need to agree on what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, and they also need to apply rewards and consequences in the same pattern. It is crucial that this method is applied consistently, each time, for the best results.
One clear way to establish these ground rules is to have an actual meeting with all caregivers present. Meet with your ex-spouse, any caregivers, and your children. Discuss the house rules and expectations in a family meeting, and write these rules down on a paper. Then consider having copies reproduced for home, daycare, and other places the children will be staying for extended periods. Examples of general rules include, 'Speak quietly in the house', 'Treat one another with respect', and 'Tell the truth'. Keep these rules as simple as possible, state them positively instead of negatively and work out a reward system for the children.
During the meeting, caregivers should also discuss how to handle rule-breaking or misbehavior. Differences in discipline styles could lead to conflicts in the future, especially if one parent is more lenient than the other. In your family meeting, caregivers should try to reach agreement on specific types of discipline to use such as removing toys or privileges and how long to remove them for.
Caregivers should also discuss children's specific needs each time they meet, because as children grow and develop they may require different types of interactions. Parents and caregivers may disagree on some aspects of raising children, as each adult is an individual. However, working through these Legal issues in an adult manner is healthy and beneficial for the children.
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