PARENTING ADVICE: WHAT PUTTING THE CHILD FIRST REALLY MEANS
The best kind of parents are the “good enough parents.” This is something I’ve heard from friends, therapists and mentors during my time in school. The original notion was proposed by Winnicott in the 1950s and to this day can place ease on moms and dads alike who feel the pressure to be “perfect.”
Are you the kind of parent who goes along doing an adequate job for most of the time, who sometimes messes up and occasionally outdoes themselves? Congratulations! You’re the best kind of Mom or Dad out there. And here’s the thing, if you’re finding it especially difficult during a separation, you’re not alone.
Your thoughts and feelings about parenting and if your being a good parent can get confusing during a separation or a divorce because A) your child is dealing with a huge change and therefore needs a lot more from you and at the same time, B) you are dealing with a huge change and just getting out of bed is difficult enough. Being a good enough parent during a separation can feel impossible. Here’s some advice from a Family Lawyer who in fact is a single mom to help clarify what “putting the children first,” really looks like. First, let’s start with what it doesn’t look like: If you’re a parent who is often caught fighting with your ex, ranting about them, using harsh words about them all while the child or children are present, then you are not putting the child first. Why? Because your child still needs to have a healthy relationship with that other parent and your emotions and reactions to each situation can hinder that. (In a nutshell.)
Personally, I found the magic question to ask yourself in questionable parenting situations to ensure that you are putting the child first: Is this good for my child? I know, obvious right? But honestly, it can help save the day and your relationship with your child too. I also know that this can be really hard. Even if you have hard or sad feelings about your situation, you will feel less sad or hateful to your partner if you go to bed at night knowing that you did what was best for your children.
At Angle Law, after facing numerous Family Law cases, we firmly believe that in any separation or divorce, parents should always put their children first and ask, “is this best for my child?” If you have concerns, please seek the support you need. If it is legal support, you know how to contact us.
Lauren M. Angle Founder, Lawyer, Angle Law