Your divorce is finally in the books and it’s time to turn your attention toward co-parenting. You hope to make all the right decisions at the right time, as doing so will result in less stress and tension on your children.
While the co-parenting process differs from one parent to the next, there are some general tips you can follow to put yourself on the right track from day one.
- Don’t make it all about you: Co-parenting starts with doing what’s best by your children. And even though it’s difficult, you should also think about the feelings of your ex-spouse. When you keep everyone’s best interests in mind, it’s easier to make the most of co-parenting.
- Keep a flexible schedule: There will be times when your ex asks to adjust their schedule, such as if they have visitation rights. And just the same, you’ll probably need to make changes every now and again. A flexible schedule is a big part of co-parenting success. Without this, you can guarantee yourself of future arguments.
- Don’t fight about everything: As frustrated as you may be, it’s critical that you keep your cool, when possible, and choose your battles wisely. If you let everything turn into a fight, you’ll never settle into a co-parenting routine.
- Never put your children in the middle: Your children don’t need to hear about the reason for your divorce, why their other parent is a bad person or how you did nothing wrong. If you need to talk about your feelings with someone, chat with an adult friend or counselor.
- Continue to communicate: As much as you don’t want to communicate post-divorce, you have to do so for the sake of your children. Find a communication tool that suits the both of you, such as text messaging, email, phone calls or even face-to-face conversations.
As a newly divorced parent you can expect to face many challenges related to co-parenting. When you follow these tips, it’s easier to prevent arguments that could turn into something much more serious.
If you’re doing your part to achieve co-parenting success but your ex is making it difficult, learn more about your legal rights for making a modification to your parenting agreement.