- Small Changes Have Big Results
When you are parenting after a divorce, you are working within a situation
that is certainly not your ideal. Your dream was not to be divorced and to have
to share your child’s time in a rigid way. The whole structure of your
life as a parent has been set and created for you to deal with. You may not
be able to change that overall structure, but there are many small things you
can do that will make the situation easier and happier for everyone.
I know you’re thinking “what??” Whether your situation with
the other parent is high conflict or low conflict, smiling at him or her will
make it better. Instead of always greeting the other parent with a stony face,
try smiling. Smiling not only makes you feel better, but it has the effect of
disarming the situation and making you both more at ease with each other. Smiling
brings a hint of friendliness into the situation and this can have a huge impact
on how you interact with each other.
Just once when the other parent wants a schedule change, say yes without a big
discussion or negotiation. Making one thing easy will lead to other things becoming
easier. Proving to your ex that everything need not turn into a big deal can
ease some tension between you.
Be on Time
Whether you’re getting your child ready to go or are the one doing the
driving, choose one day and be on time. No excuses, no rushing, no frustration
– all of this will help you feel and be calmer and more pleasant about
your entire situation.
Choose Your Focus
Many people end up focusing on the conflict they experience with their ex. If
you do a slight mind shift and instead focus on your child and what is best
for him, you will find that you achieve significant positive results. Instead
of thinking about how annoying your ex is or how irked you are at the situation,
think instead about how visitation is good for your child, or how great it is
that you are in a position that allows her to have time with both parents.
Present, Not Past
Another simple mind shift you can do is to stop yourself from thinking about
the past, and instead think about today. You can’t change what has happened
in the past. You can however directly impact what happens today. Turning your
attention towards the present allows you to have a great immediate impact on
your life and your child’s life.