This a great go-to list for understanding of what children need from coParents, following divorce.
What I need from my mom and dad: A child’s list of wants
• I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please write letters, make phone calls, and ask me lots of questions. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t love me.
• Please stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on matters related to me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong, and I feel guilty.
• I want to love you both and enjoy the time that I spend with each of you. Please support me and the time that I spend with each of you. If you act jealous or upset, I feel like I need to take sides and love one parent more than the other.
• Please communicate directly with my other parent so that I don’t have to send messages back and forth.
• When talking about my other parent, please say only nice things, or don’t say anything at all. When you say mean, unkind things about my other parent, I feel like you are expecting me to take your side.
• Please remember that I want both of you to be a part of my life. I count on my mom and dad to raise me, to teach me what is important, and to help me when I have problems.
coParents – it’s a lot harder in practice than it sounds like here. Especially if only one of you is adhering to it. Keep in mind that you can only control what you do. Allowing yourself the temporary satisfaction of digging at your soon-to-be ex only throws your kid under the bus.
Even in an extreme situation, such as Parental Alienation Syndrome, you must not allow yourself to climb into the mud with your ex! It won’t help your children and in the end, will only harm you. Seek the advice of a professional and let them point you in the right direction for intervention.