You can be a happy divorced family

Getting divorced is not easy. It's hard on everyone involved, especially the kids. The parents can feel hurt, humiliated and angry. The kids can be confused and upset and this is a really hard time for them.

So it's up to you as a parent to put the kids first, even if you've had a messy divorce. 

Take Billy Flynn, for example. He still sends his ex-wife flowers on her birthday because he is trying to show his boys how to model good relationships with women. 

Read his full post below:

That's so refreshing. The narrative of divorce doesn't have to be that of negativity and despair. And this isn't an isolated case. Jessica Singleton and her ex, Jon Megason, have an equally awesome relationship.

You see, Jon doesn't pay a single cent of maintenance. Because whenever his son needs anything, Jessica knows she can call him and he will get it for them. Jon has an excellent relationship with his son and this blended family work really hard to make this dynamic successful.

Parent24 columnist Cath Jenkin has touched on this subject numerous times, here and here. And she has some great advice for parents going through a divorce:

"While we may have split up - now almost ten years ago! - there has been one area of our life that we have always agreed upon: that our daughter will live a life that is filled with love, support and guidance. We were, and are, supported by our families in ensuring that, and they have been a vital element in helping us to ensure that our child grows up within a larger family that focuses on love and guidance. When we need to talk something through, or even disagree, we do that in private, and not by involving our daughter.

"So often, children end up in the middle of their parents, and not surrounded by them. Agreeing, from the beginning, to never put our child in between us, but rather work towards her, was a perspective we set down long before she was even born – I remember talking about it when I was pregnant! – and that was how we approached parenting when we were together, so there's no reason why it would change after we split. We know that we are one of the lucky families, but that luck is not a gift – it was and is worked for. Nowadays, our family is larger, with so many more people in it than we expected, but it's one that thrives on love."

Former Parent24 editor Scott Dunlop and his ex-wife Janine are so amazing at their co-parenting. It was a long, hard road but they also decided that their children had to come first:

“With three children of various ages at the time of separation, we had realised that they would be going through the divorce as much as we were, and we made an effort to ease them through the process. From discussing it together, allowing them to ask questions and enlisting the support of the school counsellor (who remained on standby), we did our best to have a divorce that caused as little disruption to them as possible. Once we’d resolved to separate, we also took the path of having grown-up discussions away from the children and not bad-mouthing one another. We did the best we could in a difficult time, and I think our small efforts paid off. All credit to my ex for being adult enough to identify the need to put our kids first; I immediately agreed with her.”

Do you have a great relationship with your ex? Share your story with us on chatback@parent24.com and we could publish it.

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