Be a parent engaged through hope, rather than through revenge. A parent who is interacting through revenge is creating harm for the children. When a parent's motive is for revenge, they make decisions and take actions not because those decisions are right for the children, but because they wish to hurt the other parent. Children in this situation get put in the middle and live with the stress caused by the actions of the parents. Parents who interact through hope set aside their emotions and continue to work on letting go of negative emotions and behaviors so they can co-parent. This involves committed practice that does not put the children in the middle. Parents should remain focused on their children's needs and future rather than on the other parent and the past. TO THAT END --
• Allow your children to love the other parent.
• Help your children maintain contact with extended family and friends.
• Allow children to express their fears, concerns and complaints.
• Communicate important information regarding medical and school, or any other important events for your children to the other parent.
• Help your children prepare for parenting time emotionally and physically.
• Envision a loving, happy and healthy family for your children.
• Talk negatively, insult, or allow others to talk negatively, or insult the other parent where the children can hear you.
• Have arguments or conversations of conflict between you (parents) when the children are present or during parenting time exchanges.
• Ask your children where they want to live.
• Have your children serve as the messenger for your requests to the other parent.
• Bring your children into adult issues and parental conflicts about custody, parenting time, child support or the court.
• Allow a stepparent or significant other to negatively alter your relationship with the other parent.