Hudson Valley Parent

HVP October 2019

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16 Hudson Valley Parent n October 2019 attention. Children are always paying attention. 5. Put up a united front regarding previously discussed and decided-upon rules and/or discipline measures, so that your kids know that both parents have agreed on the ultimate decision. 6. Never use the children as a bargaining chip with your ex-spouse to "get back" at him or her. Your divorce has nothing to do with them. 7. Let your kids form a separate relationship with your ex-spouse that has nothing to do with you. Let them form that on their own. 8. Never use your kids as 'messengers.' Always speak to the other parent directly. 9. "Death do you part" is very real even though your marriage is ending. You will be at every birthday, graduation, marriage, etc. 10. Don't make your child choose between the two of you or vent to your child about your ex. Instead, seek out friends or a therapist to listen to your frustrations. Advice for those new to co-parenting When asked to give advice to those new to co-parenting, Kate Smyth first encourages them to lean on each other. "Be a united front. This may be hard to do, but just keep telling yourself the truth: that you are doing what's best for your child." Gina Carrigan once again stresses the importance of communication within co-parenting, reminding new co-parents, "Regardless of the past, remember that your child will be affected by the decisions you make. So, always think of your child's well-being first, and how your actions affect them, both in the present as well as possibly in the future." Julie Ciardi, like Carrigan, also urges newly divorced co-parents to think long-term when making parenting decisions with an ex-spouse. Additionally, Ciardi reminds us that although marriage can be fleeting, parenting is forever. "Just because you are divorced, doesn't mean you aren't a family." Jill Valentino is a wife, mom of two, elementary educator and lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Medium @doublesmom77. Julie Ciardi (center) says that divorce is not a cop-out for why your child makes bad decisions. It is important to stay on the same page as your ex, especially when you have teenagers. CO-PARENTING (Continued from Page 15)

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