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How to adjust your parenting style after divorce

Many New Jersey parents are aware of the challenges that come with parenting during and after a divorce. Not only do you have to explain your breakup to your children, but you have to start communicating with your ex in a whole new way. And now that you are no longer one parental unit under one roof, it is especially important to think carefully about the way you parent your children.

After divorce, many parents' first instinct is to constantly react to what their ex is doing. Even if your divorce was amicable, some parents still feel a need to outdo the other parent or make decisions based on how it will affect their ex. Being defensive, however, won't get you very far. In fact, it usually just results in anger and mistrust between you and your ex, which won't make things easier for your kids.

A better way to handle parenting is to consider being proactive in your decision-making. Start thinking from your kids' perspective. What would be best for them or make them happier? For example, would it be better for them to see both of their parents during important holidays or to only spend it with you because that's what you want? The key is to think before you act.

Changing your parenting habits is not always easy. Divorce is always a difficult process emotionally, so many parents often start out on the defensive. However, being thoughtful about the decisions you make can go a long way toward establishing trust between you and your ex and you and your children.

Source: Huffington Post, "After Divorce: The Value of Proactive vs. Reactive Parenting," Rosalind Sedacca, Oct. 1, 2013

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