Childhood is for a Finite Period of Time: Make the Most of it!

Childhood Is for a Finite Period of Time: Make the Most of It! -Boston Best Divorce Lawyer

Advice for divorcing parents from Boston divorce lawyer, Marcia Mavrides

by: Marcia Mavrides

It is the rare situation when separated or divorced parents are able to co-parent without any stress or conflict.  For the vast majority of the rest of us, the increased financial pressures that accompany the cost associated with maintaining two separate homes, along with the vast array of human emotions that accompanies most divorces, certainly contributes to the destabilizing effect on parents and children.  The feeling of loss and stress for children can be compounded by the fact that they are not in control of any of these “adult” decisions.  For many children, there is a low-lying dread for the unknown.  Will I have to moveWill I lose my friendsHow will I make new friends? How do I keep track of my stuff, when I am moving between my two parents residences?

The best result is for this initial stage of transition to be as short as possible, so that both parents and children are able to move on with their lives with at least some predictability. How quickly you get to this new stage depends on the cooperation of parents and whether both are truly committed to working and compromising together so that the stability of the children is put into place expeditiously.  Remember, childhood is only for 18 years in a person’s life.  If the average age of a person is 75 years, that is about a quarter of his/her life.  However, the trauma and experiences of childhood can have a profound effect on the rest of that person’s life. Will your child become a generally happy, successful person capable of good parenting of their own children? It’s up to you and your co-parent to make the most of your child’s formative years. Actually, it is your parental responsibility, since you and your spouse brought this child into this world. However, you can only be responsible for your own actions, so it is your responsibility to do your best parenting during the finite period of your child’s childhood.

Now, what do you do if you have an uncooperative co-parent?  Here are five tips to keep yourself on the positive parenting track:

  1. Stay positive. For yourself and your child. No matter what your co-parent says or does, do not get drawn into his/her negativity.  It will only bring you down and give your co-parent power to control how you feel and respond.
  2. Maintain a loving and supportive relationship with your child, no matter what your co-parent says or does.
  3. Only try to control what is within your control and in the best interests of your child. Remember, you cannot control your co-parent’s choices, parenting style or decisions.  If you don’t like something your co-parent is doing, revisit #1 and #2 above and let it go. If you don’t, it will only cause stress to you and your child.
  4. Manage disputes you may have with your co-parent. Be positive, timely, clear and concise in your communications. If you have contentious communications with your co-parent, then limit them to emails or text.  This protects you because written communications can be taken at face value and not morph into a “he said/she said”.  Also, written communications create a clear record, so you should write these communications as if a judge is looking over your shoulder.  Negative communications can produce negative results, in the event your matter is reviewed by the court and these emails/texts become part of the evidence.
  5. Take initiative to be proactive regarding issues, so that there is time for resolution. If you wait until the last possible moment, a contentious co-parent will use this limitation as a means to cause you further stress. Finally, always have a Plan B, in the event you have a particularly obstinate or contentious co-parent.

It is important to keep in perspective that, as with childhood, your co-parenting time is for a finite period of time. Furthermore, although the child becomes a legal adult at age eighteen, the years of true childhood are for much less time. In reality, by the time your child obtains a driver’s license or girl/boyfriend, he/she will be living more autonomously. So you have to ask yourself one final question:  Is it worth squandering the limited time you get to parent on matters that will leave your child scarred?

Marcia Mavrides, Esq. -Best Boston Divorce Lawyer

Marcia Mavrides, Esq. -Best Boston Divorce Lawyer

To speak with a lawyer about divorce or other family law matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston, Newton, or Quincy, MA. To schedule an initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm at info@mavrideslaw.com

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