Co-parenting after a divorce can be incredibly difficult for the parties involved. Divorce often takes a severe emotional toll on people, which makes raising children with your former partner fraught with pain and stress. You might feel exhausted by the conflict or stressed out over your children spending time alone with your ex. Simple tasks like coordinating schedules and talking about issues concerning your children now seem impossible to do.
If you feel that the current custody arrangements aren’t working out, you can always consult family lawyers. But you don’t always need to resort to legal methods to sort out parenting problems. There are strategies you can utilize you help you overcome challenges and establish a cordial working relationship with your former partner.
1. Compartmentalize your emotions
Just because you feel anger or resentment at your ex doesn’t mean your children have to feel the same way. If you want to establish a cordial co-parenting relationship, you must learn to separate your negative emotions when dealing with your ex on matters concerning your children.
Of course, it’s easier said than done, and it’s challenging to keep your emotions under check when you have a contentious relationship with the co-parent. But keeping the peace is extremely important if you want to provide the stability your children need.
2. Don’t use your children as pawns
Any issues surrounding the divorce should be kept between you and your ex. Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce, you need to continually remind yourself that those issues do not concern your children. The goal of co-parenting is to provide children with a happy and stable environment, and putting them in the middle of the conflict completely negates that.
For instance, you shouldn’t badmouth your ex to your children, or make them feel like they have to take sides. It’s hard enough that your children have to adjust to a new situation. They should be able to maintain a relationship with their other parent without you sabotaging them.
3. Establish clear communication
Clear and cordial communication is the foundation of any co-parenting relationship. Always remember that your primary focus should be your child’s wellbeing. With that in mind, and with your emotions in check, you should be able to communicate with your ex calmly and professionally.
If you’re not ready to meet with your ex in person, you can exchange texts or emails instead. As long as you can coordinate schedules and relay concerns, the medium of communication doesn’t matter. It also helps to use a professional tone when dealing with your ex.
4. Set ground rules
Children in a co-parenting situation mostly live in two households. To minimize confusion and promote a sense of normalcy, both parents need to set and follow the same ground rules. This will also reduce misunderstandings and disagreements between the parents.
While you’re free to make your own rules for your home, it would best if both households established the same guidelines so your children won’t have to adjust to two different environments. Essential rules you and your ex need to agree on include curfews, activities, and disciplinary actions.
These pointers will help you provide a loving and stable environment for your child, even if they have to shuffle back and forth between two households. Keep the focus on their wellbeing and strive to maintain an atmosphere that is free of negativity.