Nobody said that co-parenting would be easy.
But, you got a divorce for a reason and when kids are involved, you have to learn how to collaborate with your ex and keep your kids’ best interests at the forefront of everything you do.
Whether you’re just beginning your co-parenting journey or need a nudge in the right direction to get back on track with your ex, this blog post provides five thought-provoking tips to help you effectively co-parent without constant arguments.
Find Common Ground
One of the most important factors in effective co-parenting is establishing common ground from the beginning. Kids thrive on consistency so rules and values should be shared between both households. One house can’t be a free-for-all while the other house is laden with rules. Though everyone has different parenting styles and how you approach a situation might be different than how your ex handles it, having established, common ground will help both parents in the long run.
Remember That They’re Still the Parent of Your Child
No one said you have to love them, but you do have to like them enough to keep things civil. The first step in doing so is realizing that although he/she may no longer be your spouse, they’ll always be the parent of your kids. Another aspect that you shouldn’t ignore is that those personality traits that existed in your marriage aren’t going to magically disappear because you’re divorced. The solution is to keep your interactions short and sweet and do your best when communicating in front of your kids to remain calm and friendly. Kids pick up on a lot and can sense when there’s tension and anger.
Keep Your Kids Out of the Drama
Divorce is hard enough as it is on your kids and while you may never fully shake those feelings of bitterness and anger towards your ex, you’ll have to do your best to push those feelings on the back burner when your kids are around. Any disagreements or problems should be handled away from them and as much as you might want to take a dig at your ex to get it off your chest, never do so in front of your kids. Your words will shape your kids’ opinion of your ex, and while you might not have the most positive feelings for him and her, you need to realize that your kids only get one mom and dad and they deserve to have healthy relationships with both.
Take Time For Yourself
Although you might feel a sense of loneliness when your kids are at your ex’s house, it’s important that you do your best to not fall into the trap of depression. Rather, use your time without your kids to get back to doing the things that you love. Take that exercise class, read a book, enjoy dinner with friends, and maybe even go on a date. A divorce can leave you fractured so it’s important to use your time alone as a chance to rebuild yourself so that you’re better and stronger than ever, not only for your own wellbeing but for the wellbeing of your kids, too.
Your Kids Come First
All of these tips culminate into the final, yet most important tip and that is to keep your kids first. When you want to snap at your ex or make a snarky comment, stop and put yourself in the shoes of your kids. How will your words and actions affect them? And if your child communicates that they miss your ex while in your care, don’t discount their feelings. Let them speak their minds and help them navigate these emotions. This is a hard time for everyone involved so do your best to keep your kids first in every decision you make and every word you speak.
If you need guidance and advice through your divorce proceedings, we can help. Contact us today.