After a painful break-up or contentious Massachusetts divorce, it might be difficult to feel anything but anger towards a co-parent. Co-parenting relationships last for the lifetime of your children, however, and it is not only in the best interests of your children that you make the best of that relationship; it’s in your best interests, as well.
Read on to consider some ways that you can feel more positively toward your co-parent, and the benefits that doing so can have for yourself and your children.
Generating good feelings towards an ex will help you feel better about your relationship with them
You may naturally not feel very enthusiastic about your former spouse, especially in the early days after a breakup. But the fact remains that you’ll need to communicate with them regularly while you share custody of your children, and you might be able to make the relationship more pleasant if you can find positive things to say about them. Research has shown that, by speaking positively about someone or something, you can reverse-engineer more positive feelings towards the subject. Tell your kids about a positive trait your ex has, or tell a story from happier times that paints your ex in a good light.
Telling positive stories about an ex will shore up your children’s self-confidence
Young children identify closely with their parents, and they need your validation of the people and things that they love. When kids hear you talk about the positive qualities their other parent possesses, they’ll feel comforted by learning that you approve of their close relationship with their other parent, and they’ll also get a boost to their own self-esteem from hearing you pay compliments to your ex.
Children will benefit from your positivity
When divorces and breakups are difficult, children often get stuck in the undesirable position of feeling like they have to choose a parent to love, for fear of disappointing the other one. You can eliminate some of this stress by being positive about your co-parent even when they don’t seem to be returning the favor, letting your kids know that you won’t get mad at them for being close to their other parent.
Finding reasons to be grateful for your ex can help you feel more warmly towards them
Research shows that it’s hard to be angry at someone when you can find a reason to feel grateful towards them. You might have to dig deep or find something small, but try to find a reason to feel thankful for your co-parent. Even if it’s “I’m thankful that she helps them with their math homework, and I don’t have to,” it can help.
For assistance with a divorce or paternity in Massachusetts, contact the dedicated and professional Middlesex County family law attorney Renee Lazar for a FREE one hour no obligation consultation at 978-844-095.