One of the biggest challenges newly divorced parents face is the process of rebuilding trust and maintaining a positive relationship with their kids.
As a parent, your children often look to you for guidance, stability, and protection. In a divorce filled with arguing and fighting, it can rock a child’s foundation. In many cases, kids blame one parent and siding with the other.
If you feel that your children have lost their trust in you, you must improve your relationship following the end of the divorce. Keep in mind, rebuilding a comfortable level of trust can take quite some time—but ultimately the constant effort will be worth it in the end.
The following are several tips to help divorce parents reestablish trust with their children:
- Be a good co-parent – Although it can be challenging to maintain constant communication with your ex-spouse, especially after a hotly contested divorce, it is important for you and the other parent to put your personal differences aside in order to effectively co-parent your kids. Having both parents in their lives is beneficial to the child’s mental and emotional well-being. Good parenting takes clear communication, cooperation, flexibility, patience, and effort from both sides.
- Encourage your kids to communicate – After experiencing the emotional turmoil of divorce, you should encourage your children to talk about their feelings. Repressing emotions can cause long-term mental and physical health problems. Let your kids know that they shouldn’t be afraid or apprehensive to express whatever they are feeling, even if that includes anger toward you. If they do not feel comfortable sharing their feelings with you, consider the benefit of your children seeing a therapist or counselor for help.
- Make the most out of your parenting time – Just spending time with your children may not be enough. Rather, giving yourself entirely to your kids—actively engaged and present in every moment you are together—can show them how much you really care. There are many cases when some parents are physically in the same space as their child, but not mentally or emotionally there. So being engaged and presents always being there as a caring father, without any distractions.