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Simple Reminders for Divorced Parents

Being cooperative with your ex and being active with your kids and involved in their lives are some of the best ways to reduce the negative affects of divorce.
Do you worry about the affect your separation or divorce is having on your kids?  Do you wonder what you can do to reduce the impact on the kids of your divorce today, tomorrow, and even after they are adults? 
Research has proven over and over again that without a degree of civility and cooperation between you and your ex, together with active involvement in your kids' lives by both parents, children will not simply "bounce back" from the divorce.  Here are some simple reminders for better parenting after a separation or divorce:
1.KIDS NEEDS COME FIRST.  Put your kids’ needs and well-being ahead of your negative feelings about or conflict with your ex. Don't involve your children in the conflict.
2. KIDS WANT/NEED TWO PARENTS.  Help them maintain a positive relationship with your ex and his/her extended family.  Give your children permission to love the other parent.
3. SHOW RESPECT.  Keep all of the derogatory, insulting, disparaging or disrespectful remarks about him/her to yourself.
4.FOLLOW THE PLAN.  Your kids will benefit from the consistency of knowing when they will be spending time with both parents.  Call or text your ex if you will be late picking up the kids.  Give your ex plenty of advance notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your parenting time.  Your kids may feel rejected if you miss visits or if you are always late picking them up.
5.  IT'S NOT ALWAYS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT HAVING FUN.  If you are the not the primary residential parent, avoid the temptation of being the “Disneyland” dad or mom.  There is no need to fill every minute with special activities.  Your kids need downtime at your house too.
6. STAY INFORMED Don't rely on your ex to keep you updated on what is going on at the kids' school or with their extracurricular activities.  Don't blame your ex if you are not "in the loop."  Be proactive.  Get on the school/team/church email list.  Show up.  Volunteer. Keep yourself updated.
7. KIDS ARE NOT YOUR MESSENGER SERVICE.  Don't use the kids as messengers or go-betweens.  And do not under any circumstances use the children as spies.  Don’t pump them for information about the other parent.
8.GET ON THE SAME PAGE.  Strive for agreement on major decisions about your child’s welfare and discipline so that you are not undermining the other parent.
9. FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULE.  Use common sense, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill, and follow the Golden Rule!

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We are divorce mediation experts, serving families throughout Utah.  For a free initial consultation, or to answer your questions about mediation or the divorce process in Utah, please call us at (801) 633-1361, or visit