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If you are going through a divorce or are already divorced, the start of a new year is the perfect time to compile some parenting goals for you and your former spouse to utilize. It is never too late to implement new parenting strategies to benefit your children.

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

1. Work Together
When parents are on the same page and present a united front it makes life so much easier for the child. Don’t force your child to choose sides or present contradictory rules and demands. When in doubt, check in with your co-parent so you can both develop a mutually agreeable solution to any problems that arise.

2. Be a Positive Example
Do your best to exemplify the behavior you want your child to display. Keep communication with your co-parent and other family and friends civil at all times. Tell your children you care about them and teach them ethical values through your own actions.

3. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Don’t let little things overwhelm you and overshadow all of the bigger, positive things. If your child or children are disagreeing with you or acting up, be proactive and use proven co-parenting strategies to diffuse the situation rather than being purely reactive. When you get distracted by small irritations it prevents you from being present for your children.

4. Be Flexible
Being flexible with both the child and your co-parent goes a long way to softening any tense situation. If you are having trouble letting go of your own past behaviors or problems shared with your former partner, consider a licensed counselor to work through your issues and improve your quality of life.

5. Be Healthy
Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle significantly improves your ability to manage each and every day. Take it one step further and make staying healthy a family activity you can share with your children.  Helping your children stay in good physical and emotional health will serve them well today and in the future.

6. Prepare for The Future
Talk to your children about the future and their goals for education, personal life, and career. Discussing long term plans out loud helps children focus on developing the skills they will need to achieve succeed their ideal adult life.

7. Enjoy Your Life
Find things that provide enjoyment for you. They can be sports activities, reading, joining a social club, or volunteering and getting involved in your community. The key is to spend time doing things you enjoy. While children do not need to be included in each and every activity, some of your extracurriculars should be more family oriented. It’s also a good idea to take an interest in your children’s current extracurricular activities. Who knows, you may find a new hobby for yourself.

The new year challenges all parents to create a better family environment for their children. Establishing clear goals with the strategies to achieve them will help your family meet any challenge 2017 presents.

Branton Law Firm is located in Downtown Covington and offers free initial consultations for all legal cases. To setup your appointment with Charles Branton, call (985) 807-1410 today.


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