Plate spinning is an art that started in the circus and has now been mastered by nearly every parent in the U.S.
Each spinning plate on a pole represents one critical priority in your life. Those priorities, spinning at a dizzying speed, include: children, marriages, work, chores, relationships with friends, relationships with family, financial planning, self-care, pets, etc.
When you became a parent, you knew that the most important responsibility in your life was to protect the best interests of your children. It's easier to do when all your other responsibilities are stable. But when anything is off balance: your focus splits.
Leading up to, and during a divorce, with attention pulled in so many directions, many parents more intentionally focus on that plate that represents their children's best interests.
5 ways to protect your children's best interest during a divorce:
- Do not speak ill of your ex in front of your children. In most instances, children benefit most by having a loving relationship with both parents. While it's completely reasonable and healthy to talk through your feelings, do so with another adult you can trust.
- Go out of your way with acts of love. You know everything about your children. Take them to their favorite park, or surprise them with a trip to see their grandparents. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to buy your children's love.
- Encourage a relationship between your ex and your children. In most cases, both parents are completely qualified to provide care for their children. If that is the case, resign yourself to your new reality and make the best of it. Your children will appreciate your dedication to their best interests.
- Retain as much normalcy as possible. Children respond best to routine. A change in custody alone is enough to cause challenges in a child's life. Try to limit additional changes such as schools, daycares, time spent with their friends.
- Practice self-care. You cannot take care of your children if you aren't taking care of yourself. The stress of your situation can lead to unhealthy new habits. If the divorce requires new habits, make them positive ones. Feeling better about yourself will start a positive chain reaction.
While it's important to keep all your plates spinning, you know the one that cannot be easily repaired is the one that represents your children. Let that be your main focus and you can't go wrong.