Plan to do two or more of the following behaviours each week. Add behaviours until you have practised all ten.
- Allow your child to spend time with extended family members on both sides of the family
- Leave a framed picture out of your child with both sets of their grandparents or extended family members.
- Mention positive qualities of members of your child’s extended family. Find a way to value what they have to offer to your child
- Recognise and comment on qualities that your child received from extended family members. Such as, “You have Grandpa’s talent for drawing”
- Encourage your child to remember the extended family member’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays with card or phone call
- Make sure your child responds appropriately when gifts are sent from the extended family
- If the extended family calls to speak to your child, and you answer the phone, attempt to say a few pleasant words. Remember, your child is listening.
- Separate your negative feelings about your former spouse from your feelings for their family
- Do not assume that the extended family is speaking negatively about you.
- Correct any inappropriate comments that you may have said with regard to the extended family. You might say, “I used to be upset with them, but I’m not as upset anymore. It’s getting better all the time”
With thanks to Cooperative Parenting Institute