Page 163 - Cityview Magazine - July/August 2017
P. 163

Straight from “the bulldog,” Sam English urges parents to look at divorce from their children’s perspectives.
Sam English has earned the reputation as one of the best, most sought- after divorce and custody litigators in East Tennessee. As a man of faith, he wholeheartedly believes in a peaceful resolution, especially when children are involved. Unfortunately, a peaceful resolution isn’t always possible, which means parents should be considerate of how this turmoil affects the children. Sam offers a few suggestions to help parents cope with how the children view divorce.
1Give Your Children Credit.
They are smarter than you think and will
notice even the smallest subtleties in the change in your relationship with your spouse. Regardless of how you feel about your spouse during this time, your children still love, admire and respect their parents in the same way they did prior to your relationship breaking down. Allow them the space to process what’s happening, and allow them time to be angry. They will have questions, but they may not know how to articulate their questions or how to broach the situation. They may be fearful of your reaction, worried that they will upset you, or worse...they may turn to the internet for answers that will help them make sense of it all. Keep the lines of communication open, and be prepared to listen. Really listen. Your children may need to say something that you don’t want to hear, but frankly, what you want is irrelevant. Your children deserve your patience and understanding more than ever.
2Your Children Are Not Pawns in the Chess Game of Divorce.
They need to know that you and your
spouse are a uni ed front and that both
of you are working diligently to keep their lives as normal as possible. If you and your spouse are having di culty communicating, don’t add to your children’s inner turmoil
by speaking badly about one another in
front of your children or speaking to the children as if they are leverage in a settle- ment. Communicate appropriately with them about what’s happening, but leave out buzz words like court, Judge, and lawyer. Remember, your children are desperate for emotional stability, and they depend on
you to provide it personally and possibly through counseling. Otherwise, your children will blame themselves for your mistakes.
3It’s OK To Put You First. It really is. In fact, it’s necessary. Good parenting and co-parenting begins with you staying mentally and physically healthy. See a therapist, go
to the gym, visit the spa, or play golf perhaps. Simply  nd healthy activities and hobbies that interest you and con- tribute to your well-being, so that you can take care of your children and have quality time when they are with you. When you model good habits and a healthy lifestyle, your children will see that. In turn, they will form good habits of their own.

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