For Massachusetts co-parents, deciding on a parenting schedule is one of the most significant measures to take soon after a divorce or separation. More than just overnights, parents must consider many aspects of their kids' schedules like school events, medical appointments, meal times, extracurriculars, holidays, bedtimes, and more.
On the issues of how to care for your children during a Massachusetts divorce, conscious parents should be deciding together with only one goal in mind: the very best interest of their children. Unfortunately, too many parents approach this issue as adversaries. When child custody becomes a battle, everyone loses.
A Massachusetts divorce is not an everyday occurrence for most individuals. Because of this, most of our clients come to us seeking help in a divorce with certain ideas and preconceived notions as to what they expect their divorce to look like. Whether they get these ideas and notions from television, magazines, or even from friends and family members who have experienced their own Massachusetts divorce, there are certain myths which are quite common about the divorce process.
Parental Alienation is when one or both Massachusetts divorcing parents attempts to negatively influence their children about the other parent is one of the most terrible outcomes of a divorce gone bad. It's a difficult and complex subject, but the outcome is always the same. Children who are emotionally scarred. When you mix two egos with dramatically differing perspectives, you're bound to get an entanglement of emotions compounded by allegations, defensiveness and self-righteousness. Unfortunately, no one wins when parental alienation runs its course during and after a divorce. But it's the children in particular who lose in a big way. Many of them are affected for life. Behind parental alienation are parents who feel totally justified in hating, resenting or otherwise distancing themselves from their former spouse. They fail to take into account how this might psychologically play out in an innocent child who naturally loves both parents. Backed by the strength of their convictions, these parents feel validated in negatively influencing their children's attitude toward the other parent. Whether its overt put-downs, disparaging comments or more subtle nuances of disdain, they make it clear that they do not like, respect or trust the other parent. The message to the children creates confusion mixed with anxiety, insecurity, guilt and fear. What's a child to do when one of their parents says the other parent, who is genetically a part of them, is bad, wrong, hateful, or not worthy of their love? How should a child handle the burden of learning "truths" about their other parent that only an adult can comprehend? Who can a child turn to when Mom is putting down Dad (or vice versa) and they're feeling angry, frightened or resentful? Parents need to think before they act. They need to look ahead to the consequences before they share secrets that no child should have to know before they take the innocence of childhood from children who are totally powerless to fix their parents' adult problems.
Scientists have demonstrated for decades that Massachusetts parents words exert tremendous power over a child's developing mind. What a parent says to their kid has very real consequences and there are words that seem to have overwhelmingly negative consequences. None of this has to do with culture or background or "grit"; this has to do with the practical ramifications of the actions taken by adults. So, yes, there are words that should be removed from the vocabulary of adults, not in the interest of furthering a cultural or political agenda, but in the interest of helping kids become happy adults.
A unifying theme of motherhood is guilt. Massachusetts mothers all feel it, react to it, and sometimes perpetuate it. No matter what choices are made about childcare, staying at home, working part-time, or pursuing a full-time career, mothers aren't immune to the nagging feeling that we could do better by our Massachusetts kids. Of course, mom guilt can be a good thing if it serves as a gentle reminder that our actions toward our children matter. Guilt, can be described as a healthy conscience and can be useful if it inspires more productive involvement or a sincere apology, or if it helps us bite our tongue.
Massachusetts children need involved fathers throughout their lives. Kids with active dads are less likely to drop out of school, become obese, have risky sex, and develop mental health problems. But little boys, in particular, need their dads during the "terrible twos", when boys experience testosterone fueled aggression for the first time and have no idea how to deal with it. During this crucial period, it's up to father figures to show boys how to cope with their emotional impulses, so they don't become aggressive, violent men.
A Massachusetts divorce may change the way a family looks, but it does not have to break it completely. Massachusetts parents who can manage to stay civil and connected when their marriage ends offer their kid much better outcomes. That's because kids thrive in stable environments and are better able to handle the world when they have a sense that their mom and dad are co-parenting to further their child's interests.