Bruce C. Zivley, Attorney at Law

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Why remaining socially healthy is important for divorced parents

Though often rewarding, being a divorced parent is rarely a simple or straightforward job. Whether your child custody arrangements have granted you a great deal of time with your child or not as much as you would like, being a good parent to your child can be time-consuming and can sometimes feel isolating. As a result, it is very important that you take care to remain socially healthy. Being a socially healthy and engaged person can help you cope with the stresses of parenthood and can help you be a healthier, happier parent for your child.

For many divorced parents, both money and time can feel consistently scarce. When a little extra time or money becomes available, it can be either necessary or tempting to spend what is available on one’s children. However, it is important that you spend a little time and/or money on yourself and your social life when it can be spared. Going out with friends may seem like a frivolous expense, but bonding with your support network is a healthy pursuit. Do not be afraid to spend a little time or money on your social life when it makes sense to do so, as your child will directly benefit from a socially healthy and engaged parent.

In addition, it is also healthy to take a little time and space for yourself at home as well. You may be such a loving and invested parent that you aim to be engaged with your child at all times that he or she is awake and you are not working. However, it is both healthy for you and good modeling for your child to take a little time and space to do things that you enjoy. Even if you just read for a half-hour and then call a friend to discuss what you have read, you will teach your child that it is good and healthy to engage in hobbies and reach out to friends.

Source: The Huffington Post, “What Divorced Moms Need For Christmas (and the Rest of the Year),” Magda Pecsenye, Dec. 19, 2013

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