Like most parents, Ohio parents who split up want to still raise emotionally healthy, stable, happy kids. Working together in all aspects of the children’s lives and respecting, encouraging and supporting the relationship each child has with their other parent is the road to success in this journey.
Even after parents separate, children need to feel secure that they are still a family. This means that there are some activities that are still best done together. Events such as birthdays, for example, can become tense and create anxiety in the kids if they feel that they have to participate in two events in one day, without fully enjoying either. Birthdays are best celebrated jointly. Holidays, such as Christmas might also be easier on the kids if parents can establish a schedule of where the child will spend the entire day, without the pressure of having to hurry from one event to the next. Another way to maintain stability is by having the same rules at both houses, so that children can have the necessary structure in their lives.
Kids also need to feel emotionally secure that both parents still love them and that they can speak to a parent about their other parent without any negative consequences. Parents should be supportive and open, listening to their children and not letting their own views of their ex color their words, even if the break up was not amicable. Children should never feel like it’s their fault that the break up occurred and providing them with emotional support can help with this. Parenting time is important and can be used to strengthen the bond with the child.
During the child custody negotiation process, parents may decide to speak with a lawyer with family law experience. The lawyer might provide legal guidance and support during this difficult time and help parents design a plan that benefits the whole family.