With this being the first full week of 2014, we are not surprised by the various New Year’s resolutions that our readers make. We actually encourage resolutions since they are regarded as bona-fide promises of change that tend to have a positive impact on people’s lives. For parents who are starting 2014 in the midst of a divorce, as well as parents embroiled in custody or support disputes, the following resolutions would be prudent ones to keep.

Don’t freeze the other parent out – It is natural to become angry at a parent when they don’t contribute (either through monetary contributions or with parenting time breaks), and resolve to move on with life without them. However, parents should resist the urge to deny parenting time or keep the other parent in the dark when it comes to events in the child’s life.

Don’t fight in front of the child – The other parent may make your blood boil by being petty and disrespectful, but you must avoid verbal (and physical) confrontations in front of the child. Arguments should be had in private and kept in that venue.

Celebrate the child’s fun – You may also get jealous when your child describes how much fun he or she had with the other parent. The focus should be on how they had fun, not on how the other parent is attempting to upstage you. The same notion applies if the child wants to spend more time with the other parent.

Don’t treat kids like old luggage – Avoid making children feel like they are merely accessories that you can dispose of at a whim. Nothing is worse to a child than being resented or not feeling loved.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, “New Year’s resolutions for divorced parents,” Kate Scharff,