Divorce is never a walk in the park when you have children, but it doesn’t have to be agony either, if you can develop parenting strategies that focus on what’s truly best for your child. Many couples go through really difficult transitions when it comes to making post-split parenting decisions, but there are ways to make it easier.

Ditch The Trash Talk

Once the dust has settled on the split, you can either make things painful or easy for your child. Constantly venting about your ex in front of your child does nothing to your ex, but always damages the child.  You will likely get over your feelings, but your child will always have the memory of you saying mean things about the other parent. Try instead to find nice things to say about your ex as a parent or as a person. It will help to put the past behind you.

Remember Old Hurts Are Irrelevant Now

Once the relationship is over, whatever your ex did or did not do is irrelevant. Hanging on to feelings of anger, frustration, or betrayal not only makes it hard to refrain from trash talking about your ex, it makes it harder for you to move on. Attracting a new partner is not easy if you’re consumed with bitterness. It might help to journal. Seeing a therapist may be another great idea to help yourself cope.

Cope With Loneliness Healthily

During the hours or days when your children are with your ex, you must learn to not let your feelings of loneliness or isolation overwhelm you. That can be hard at first, because you may be grieving the loss of your relationship and your child’s company. However, stay busy by spending time with friends, taking classes, exercising, or being part of a faith community. Find happy ways to spend your time, so when the children are back with you, you are relaxed and refreshed.

Work With Your Ex

Your attitude about your ex matters a lot. Viewing your ex as the enemy benefits nobody. Viewing your ex as simply a colleague you have to get along with to accomplish your goals will make things easier. Find time to get together in person to discuss your child. Focus on your child and his/her happiness, instead of your anger or resentment.

Make Friends With Your Ex’s New Love

It can be maddening to contemplate your child spending a significant amount of time with a person you don’t know and you haven’t approved. Meet with the new boyfriend or girlfriend in person, and be polite. If your children form a healthy and secure attachment to the new person it will benefit them in the long run.