While there are many issues when it comes to children in Greenville, South Carolina family law cases, the most common concern that parents have is how to do what is best for their children. They may already have strong views concerning who should get custody and how much visitation time is appropriate with the non-custodial parent, but ultimately, the vast majority of parents have a common goal: Their children’s best interests.
If you are divorced or separated from your child’s other parent, then you will benefit from knowing that the research has shown that your children will benefit most from having equal time (or as close to equal as possible) with both of you. This is true for children at every stage of development, and those who grow up to be healthy adults with positive relationship with both parents are those who got the benefit of equal time with each parent.
This research was based on the experiences and emotional health of over one hundred college students who came
from families where there was a divorce or separation before their third birthdays, and it included children who spent equal time with parents, children who had less than equal time with each parent, and children who had little contact with one parent, with information on these relationships at various stages of development.
The results of the research indicated that more overnight parenting time with each parent was the best indicator of healthy development and positive relationships as the children grew up. Surprisingly, the most important stage of development for children to have equal time with both parents was found to be around the age of two years old. The impact of not having equal contact with both parents at this age was significant enough that it was not made up for by more contact in later years. It was also found that this equal contact was beneficial even when the parents experienced conflict concerning such overnight visitation.
In other words, even if you can’t get along with the other parent, even if you argue every time you communicate, your child is still going to benefit from having those overnight parenting experiences. Of course, it is best to minimize such conflict, but you should sacrifice your relationship with your children in an effort to avoid confrontation and arguments.
Tips on Being the Best Parent You Can Be Based on Scientific Research
Everyone wants to be the best parent they can be for their children. What many don’t know is that there has been tons of scientific research on this very topic, and much of it is extremely beneficial to all parents who could benefit from some scientific advice.
For example, it is important to avoid thinking that your children are more mature because they have grown so tall, and look more mature. This is a very common mistake that parents make. They may even treat their children differently based on their height and size more than their age without even realizing it. You might have one child who is short, small, slender, and appears more fragile than a younger child who is taller, more muscular, and appears more tough. It’s important to keep in mind that appearances can be deceiving, and your child’s mental and emotional health is not tied to his or her appearance of being more fragile, more tough, or more mature than they actually are. Watch for this bias in your parenting, and remember that no matter how mature your child appears, he or she is still a child, with a brain and body that can develop at different rates. The brain is not fully developed until their twenties.
It is also important to help your children learn to express their feelings, and you can do this by voicing those feelings. When your child is upset, you might say, ‘You’re feeling sad because ….’ or ‘I can see that this hurt your feelings,’ or ‘You’re mad about ….’ This does not mean that you should tell your child to feel a certain way that they aren’t already feeling, but you can help them to put words to their feelings by noticing and understanding those feelings.
Another key piece of advice for parents in today’s busy world is to minimize the distractions when spending time with your kids. You should enjoy time together without your phone in your hand, without the TV on, and without trying to do multiple things at once. Of course, you can’t be expected to avoid distractions all the time, but you can set aside some time for bonding with your full attention without the interruption of distractions.
Research has also shown that yelling at your children, particularly teenagers, causes them to act out more and behave much worse than the children of parents who don’t yell so much. Yelling can be a difficult habit to break, but it will help you and your child in the long run. To help you break the habit of yelling, if this is something you do, you can take time to calm down and think about the situation before talking to your child about it. Consider what you want to say, what you want to teach, what behaviors you want to correct, and how best to do that without yelling.
At the same time, while it is important to explain things to kids, you don’t have to explain everything. In some cases, explaining too much is more confusing and harmful than you might imagine. When major changes are happening, it is important to make sure that your kids know what’s going on, but they don’t need to know all the details.
Finally, to be the best parent that you can be, you need to take care of yourself. This means that you have to address your own emotional and mental health, take time to tend to your needs, and seek help when you need it. Many parents struggle with mental health issues like anxiety and depression, which they may be too afraid or uncomfortable to seek help with. Yet, these issues, along with everyday stress, can affect how you parent. Your children can pick up on your moods and they notice when you’re not fully present. To make sure your kids grow up with healthy, confident, and optimistic perspective in life, take care of yourself.
Don’t Face Challenging Legal Issues that Affect Your Family Alone
When you face legal issues that impact your family relationships, you need to have the guidance and representation of an experienced Greenville, South Carolina family law attorney. Contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm to learn more about how we can help.