Being a parent can be challenging. Even if you live in a household with your children and both of their parents, creating unity within your family unit won’t always come easy. But if you’re no longer with your child’s other parent, either due to divorce or other circumstances, it can often be even more difficult to ensure that your child has a healthy, loving relationship with both of their parents. So to help your child find fulfillment even when your family unit might be struggling to feel united, here are three ways you can encourage your kids to have a better relationship with their other parent.
Be Positive About Seeing The Other Parent
Children are often very sensitive to the feelings of their parents. This can especially be the case if your kids have seen you go through a divorce, as the challenges of this event can make your children more protective of you. So if you and your child’s other parent aren’t really getting along right now, this can have a big impact on how your child feels about spending time with that other parent. But despite your own feelings, Jocelyn Block and Melinda Smith, contributors to HelpGuide.org, advise that you try to always speak positively about your co-parent, especially leading up to your child seeing him or her. By being positive about your child spending time with their other parent, you’ll be showing your child that you’re happy that they love their other parent and that it’s perfectly fine for them to enjoy the time they get to spend together.
Encourage One-On-One Time
If you and your co-parent only have one child together, then getting one-on-one time is likely a very regular occurrence. But when there are more kids involved, it can be hard for your child to feel like they’re getting enough personal attention from their parent when they’re always together as a group. If you think your child is feeling this way, Robin McClure, a contributor to Very Well Family, recommends that you suggest that your child request occasional one-on-one time with their parent. This can help the two of them develop a deeper bond without distractions from others.
Teach Your Child To Be Considerate When Using Technology
Depending on the access to technology your child has, his or her own habits might be getting in the way of spending quality time with their parent. According to Dr. Laura Markham, a contributor to Psychology Today, you may want to speak with your child about being considerate with the time and attention they give technology or their devices when they could or should be spending time with their parent that they might not see as often. This might mean having to set rules about limiting screen time or disabling certain devices or apps for a period of time.
If you’ve noticed that your child is struggling in their relationship with their other parent, consider using the tips mentioned above to help them find ways to improve on the time they spend together.