A recent post to Facebook post about an ex-husband that goes to his ex-wife's house on her birthday to make her breakfast with their children caught my attention. For those that have not seen the actual post, here is the link to Billy Flynn's Facebook Post. It got me thinking about the relationships between parents that are not married or are no longer married. The most important thing to remember is that you and your ex-partner are going to forever be linked because of the children. I have come up with 5 tips for ensuring that your relationship with your ex-partner does not interfere with your children's ability to grow into healthy adults:
1. Take the high road - No matter the situation, you will always be faced with the opportunity to take one of two roads. Most of the time, taking the high road is the best option. It allows you to show your children that, despite your personal feelings for the other person, there is always room for doing the right thing.
2. Be supportive of your ex-partner's life - Children learn best from watching the adults in their lives. It is possible to foster a sense of love and kindness in your ex-partners new relationship and not hurt your own. The new partner is not trying to replace you as parent in the child's life, but they are choosing to love YOUR child as theirs. You would want your ex-partner to do the same for you.
3. Treat people as you want your children to treat people - The nicer you are to people, especially your ex-partner, the nicer your children will be. Children learn what is good about people and what is bad by the way they treat others. They will learn your shortcomings and will treat you as you treat them and your ex-partner.
4. Compromise - The ability to work with somebody is one of the most difficult things for adults to understand. Children don't know how to be anything but nice and look to the adults in their lives for guidance on how to deal with situations.
5. Treat your ex-partner with dignity and respect - This one is going to be difficult, there is a reason you are no longer together after all. Treating your ex-partner, and their new partner, with dignity and respect shows your children that, despite your lack of relationship, you do still care about the greatest thing(s) to come out of your relationship, the children.
These are not the only ways to assure that your children grow up successful and happy. The most important thing to remember is that we, as adults, shape the lives of the children around us as they grow up. Children don't know true hate, they learn it; children don't know true love, they learn it. Like Billy's post says "I'm raising two little men. The example I set for how I treat their mom is going to significantly shape how they see and treat women and affect their perception of relationships."
If you have any issues with your ex-partner relating to the 5 tips above, or any other issue that might arise, please contact the Scott Law Group at (336) 993-5000 or email us at [email protected] to set up a consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling child custody cases, including modification and enforcing provisions that already exist. Call or email today to discuss your case.