Dr. Phil McGraw provides advice that I can agree with on the subject of parents who are divorcing, including the following:
- Put your children’s needs first.
- Start a new relationship. Don’t think of the divorce as ending the relationship with your ex-spouse. Instead, think of it as beginning a new one. Your new relationship as divorced parents involves being co-allies, nurturers and protectors of your children.
- Communicate clearly with your children.
- Don’t put your kids in the middle.
- Fight in private.
- Never undermine the other parent. Don’t be critical of your ex in front of the children. Don’t attack the mother/father of your child. Put the children above all of your personal wants and needs. Take the high ground.
- Communicate with your ex regarding child rearing decisions.
- Decide that your children will not come from a broken home, they are just going to have two homes.
I would further point out that I once had the privilege of appearing before a local circuit judge who told parents of child the following: “You must stand shoulder to shoulder with regard to your children’s issues. If you don’t, the children will play mom against dad and dad against mom and become inappropriately empowered.” I consider this good advice.