Child custody is one of divorce’s greatest challenges. When all is said and done and the assets are distributed and the divorce is final, there are still the children of divorce that forever tie you to the other parent. Whether your children are little or grown, there will be times when you will encounter the other parent whom you are no longer married to but have children and possibly grandchildren in common with after the divorce. This can be frequent during child custody. Oftentimes, when children are little, there remains hurt feelings, resentment, possibly jealously as the other parent moves on seemingly unscathed. It may be very difficult during these times to maintain the level of civility in child custody that is critical to raise happy, successful children of divorced parents. The last thing you may want to do is have to continue to parent with this other person that you no longer love, that you resent or that continues to undermine everything that you think is best. It takes acceptance of the fact that both parents are entitled to have a loving and caring relationship with their children after a divorce in order to provide the best for your children.
One important part of treating the other parent with the respect in child custody that is needed to raise healthy children that are not constantly in the middle of conflict is gratitude. Whether the other parent is in your opinion is a good parent or a worthless excuse for a human being in your eyes, it is helpful to look at it for what that person’s existence means to you. Had you never encountered the other parent, good or bad, for one night or many, that little child or children who mean the world to you would not exist. Their unique genetic combination is only the result of having had a relationship, however, brief the encounter, with the other parent. Take the other parent out of the equation from the start and your child would not exist. If every time you have conflict with the other parent and you can go to a place of gratitude for that person for having given you one of life’s greatest gifts, your child, it becomes much easier to deal with whatever conflict you have. As much as your love your friends and your current significant, remember it was this other parent who gave you life’s greatest gift. If you look at it from the perspective of your child, you may understand the importance of having both parents involved in the child’s life, no matter how great or how little. How many parents have a relative who may have done similar things as the other parent, but they find it acceptable to still love their relative while completely trying to eradicate the other parent from the child’s life for the same things? Oftentimes, parents think of custody from their own wants and needs rather than looking at it from their child’s best interest.When you come from a place a gratitude, it helps you to make decisions that are in your child’s best interest and helps reduce the conflict that can damage children.
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