While this might be Drew Barrymore’s third divorce, it appears the actress is moving forward with the help of friends and a new focus on her two daughters.
SELF CARE AND A NEW FOCUS FOR DREW BARRYMORE
Drew Barrymore and ex Will Kopelman announced their divorce on April 1. The two were together for four years and share two daughters, Olive and Frankie. In that announcement the pair stated, “Sadly our family is separating legally, although we do not feel this takes away from us being a family. Divorce might make one feel like a failure, but eventually you start to find grace in the idea that life goes on.” And it seems like Barrymore is doing just that – moving on. As she recently told Extra, “It’s like one foot in front of the other, business as usual, life is good, focus on the positive, be strong be happy, be human.”
A NEW MANTRA FOR BARRYMORE
When it comes to finding happiness after divorce, Barrymore might have found a new mantra. “I think nothing is earned easily, but it doesn’t have to be heavy… It’s like, life is heavy enough — lighten up,” she explained during an interview with Us Weekly. “I just love, like, how happiness seems like this lofty, hippie-dippie kind of notion and it’s not. It’s a really hard-earned thing, and to bestow it on others and to maintain it as a mentality, it takes work and it pays off.” In addition to this mantra, Barrymore also has a strong support group of friends, including Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow. “I think good women change your life. Girls were my original family. I didn’t grow up traditionally with, like, that dining room table sort of setting, my girls were my family and I love my journey and my destiny is to raise two daughters.” She went on to add, “I think that the girls that I know, we work hard on our friendships, we’re not, like, fair-weather friends. We have growing pains. We have moments where for many years we’ve earned our friendship… girlfriends are not just a lightweight thing, it’s pretty deep.” In addition to having good friends, there are some other ways to take your mind off of the pain you might feel. One such way is to focus on your children, just as Barrymore is.
BEING A GOOD PARENT AFTER DIVORCE
As Barrymore explained during her interview with Extra, she’s working on being a great mom to her daughters, Olive and Frankie. As she said, “My daughters have made me behave as the person I always dreamed to be.” “It’s like, I would always climb that mountain and I would fail time and time again have a reaction that didn’t make me feel proud of myself or, you know, you’re just growing, trying to be the best person you can be but God, somehow my daughters have just pushed me over and I still fail all the time and I just get home at night and I’m like, ‘I didn’t lose it, I somehow took the high road cause you forced me to.’” Focusing on your children during the divorce process is the best way to ensure that you are keeping their best interests in mind. This can be especially hard if you have a hard time co-parenting with your ex. Here are some tips when it comes to establishing a working co-parenting relationship.
STEP 1: ONLY YOU ARE ABLE TO CONTROL YOU
In order to create a co-parenting relationship, you must first realize the only person you can control is yourself. You don’t have any power over your ex, so don’t even both trying. If you can accept this fact and are able to control your own emotions and actions, you’ll have an easier time developing a co-parenting relationship. Hopefully your example will carry over to your ex-spouse.
STEP 2: SET BOUNDARIES
The next step you must learn in order to create a successful co-parenting relationship is how to set boundaries. Hise are a few do’s and don’t’s to help you get started. Don’t:
- Sabotage the relationship your child has with their other parent.
- Use your child as a pawn to hurt or get back at your ex.
- Permit your child to speak badly when talking about the other parent.
- Use your child to get information, manipulate, and/or influence your ex.
- Transfer onto your child your hurt feelings and/or frustrations toward your ex.
- Force your child to choose a side whise scheduling conflicts occur.
- Put pressure on your child.
- Depend on your child for companionship or support too much when dealing with your divorce. Your child isn’t your thisapist.
- Become so emotionally needy your child begins to feel guilty about spending time with others. You would hate to discover they didn’t participate in social outings due to the fact they were afraid you weren’t able to deal with being alone.
Bottom line: Your child should not be burdened with situations they aren’t able to control. You shouldn’t saddle your children with your issues and emotional needs. Doing so will only create feelings of being helpless and insecure which could cause them to doubt their own abilities and strengths. It’s not their responsibility to hold you together and they shouldn’t feel it is. Children aren’t able to understand and deal with problems of adults and shouldn’t have to. Their focus should be on their own development, and your’s should be, too. Do’s:
- Sit down with your ex and create a plan whiseby differences are set aside so the focus can be put on meeting the needs of your children you will be co-parenting.
- Negotiate how to handle holidays, visitations, and events.
- Create guidelines for behavior of raising your children that each of you will adhise to. Children need consistency in their lives without regard as to which parent they’re with. This includes bed-times, phone privileges, etc. A child will frequently test situations and try to manipulate their boundaries. You and your ex must present a united front.
- Negotiate the roles of extended family members.
- Establish open communication with respect to the development of your child. This includes the ability to compare notes on situations and jointly deciding on any punishment.
- While it may be painful emotionally, you and your ex must decide to inform each other ob any changes in circumstances of their life. Your child shouldn’t be the source of “breaking news.”
- Determine that you’ll conduct yourself with emotional integrity and maturity.
ADDITIONAL TIPS ON HOW TO CO-PARENT
While setting ground rules are important, there are additional tips you may be interested in considering. When all of you are together try to be friendly. You and your co-parent ex share a child or multiple children, and they will each grow differently and have different experiences. During sporting events, birthdays, parent-teachers conferences, graduations, etc., you’ll all be sharing the experience and the same location. Being friendly will make it easier for you, your co-parent, and especially your child. Kids are observant and can easily pick up on things if you’re being rude or feeling awkward, so act like the adult you’re supposed to be. Return phone calls, emails, and texts, even if it’s just to send an “ok.” It’s important and helpful for your co-parent to know you received their message. It’s also respectful and a great way to keep you and your co-parent informed of any changes or other important information. It is you and your co-parent’s business to know who is watching your child besides you. Your co-parent has a right to know what person their child is with if they’re not with you. If a neighbor is watching them for awhile if you have to go to the store, it’s not as important to let your co-parent know, but if it’s for a longer period of time you need to tell them and give them all that person’s information. Just telling them it’s “none of their business” is completely ridiculous and irresponsible. As a co-parent they have a right to know what’s happening with their child, the same as you do. Ask for your co-parent’s input to help develop a positive relationship as time goes forward. Even if you don’t take their opinion into consideration, since you’re not planning on following it, their opinion may surprise you and change your mind!
ALWAYS BE FLEXIBLE
While it’s important to set arrangements, you need to be sensitive to your child’s needs, which means being flexible. If your child really wants to have a night with dad instead of mom, then it might be best for your child to do it. This is a difficult time your kids are trying to adapt to. You should encourage them to be honest when it comes to their emotions. You also should be sensitive to your child emotions, which often means putting your own emotions aside.
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