1. Put your children first.

Your child is not a confidant. Your child is not a friend. You are the adult and your child needs to be a child. Your child is NOT responsible for you. Children of single parents tend to grow up way too fast. Remember your child is a child. Do you know your child's feelings, friends, fears and dreams?

2. Acknowledge the marriage is over and move on.

Join a divorce recovery support group and do your part in the work of healing from divorce. Time alone does not heal. Many churches sponsor divorce recovery groups. Call your church or join us at St. Luke’s UMC for Divorce recovery groups and Solo Flight (a single parent support group that meets the first Wednesday of each month.

3. Learn your part in the conflict and stop doing it.

Don’t fight in front of your children. Ask for help. Be responsible for managing your own anger. I see many people who are in the process of or recently divorced and hurt who ask for help dealing with their sadness and anger and pain.

4. Treat you ex at least as well as you would a business partner.

Recognize that your ex is now your lifetime business partner in the business of rearing emotionally healthy and well adjusted children.

5. Do not use your kids as weapons or pawns.

Do not put your kids in the middle. For instance, do not ask your children to carry messages or keep secrets or tell lies. Don’t fight in front of the children. The harm that you do your kids from you anger and bitterness can last a lifetime. Fighting between parents is the number one cause of adjustment and emotional problems in children.

6. Set clear boundaries.

What are you willing and not willing to do. Be clear with your ex. Also be particularly clear with your adult children who may be particularly vulnerable to being put in the middle of their parents fighting.

7. Children thrive best with two loving parents.

Consider custody arrangements that are flexible and in the best interest of your children. Although more difficult for parents some form of joint custody is often best for the children involved. For example – always offer your spouse an opportunity to “babysit” if you must be away from your children during your time.

8. Your child needs you!

The number one request I get from children of all ages is more quality time with each parent. Your child needs the freedom to call, email, spend time with and most of all love both parents. Create positive memories for your child be spending quality time with her each week.

9. Do you like yourself?

If you are happy with your own life you are less likely to focus on problems with your ex. If you are satisfied with the relationship you have with your children you will be less upset or jealous by the relationship your ex has with your children.

10. Seek peace instead of revenge.

Give up your right to get even. What does your faith say about forgiveness? Is this useful to you? Pray for your ex. Wish you ex well. Focus on his or her good qualities. Also share those qualities with your children Copyright 2003

Note: If you feel that the conflict is becoming severe or in any way damaging to the children please seek help.

Author's Bio: 

Barnes has taught divorce recovery programs for six years and has written numerous articles on relationships and divorce as well as given a variety of talks and led workshops on divorce and relationships. For more information go to: http://www.lifeoptions.us