At times we can all get lost in our old habits and can’t seem to pull ourselves through. Parents, especially, often feel like they are failing or could do better.

Once in a while you hear something from someone or hear a line on TV or the radio that resonates with you and triggers you to start doing something or stop doing something.

This is by no means a complete list but here are some thoughts…

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t use your child as your confident, therapist or fellow victim. They don’t want to know!
  2. Don’t try to cause problems in your child’s relationship with the other parent – you are hurting your child.
  3. Don’t bad mouth the other parent, their new partner or choices for their new life.
  4. Don’t purchase your children’s allegiance, acceptance, understanding or forgiveness.
  5. Don’t compete with the other parent.
  6. Don’t use your child to communicate with the other parent – be an adult and role model and do it yourself.
  7. Don’t take them away from their extended family.
  8. Don’t expose your kids to your dating life.
  9. Don’t introduce new partners to your kids to soon and certainly not before your kids are ready.
  10. Don’t pressure you children to accept or like your new relationship.
  11. Don’t be negative about relationships, commitment or marriage/common law.

The Dos

  1. Do put your child and their wellbeing before everything else.
  2. Do take responsibility for your own behaviour. We ask that of our children!
  3. Pick your battles and avoid getting pulled into emotional old scripts out of habit.
  4. Do take the high road. This will save you a lot of stress especially when you know the other person won’t or can’t.
  5. Respect your child’s relationship with their other parent.
  6. Respect that your former spouse has a parenting style of their own.
  7. Do stay out of your former spouse’s life and business.
  8. Apologize and/or forgive yourself and you former spouse.
  9. Make the decision to move on.
  10. Get excited about your new life and share the excitement with your child.
  11. Do look forward to the future and help your kids do the same.