Co-Parenting Tips After Divorce
Divorce is hard on everyone involved, but it can be especially tough for children. Even after the divorce papers are signed and finalized, the relationship with your ex will still exist, simply because there are children involved. Parenting after divorce can be a huge challenge – there are custody arrangements, visitations, and each parent will need to learn new tools to guide their children through this huge change in life. However, co-parenting can be done successfully and effectively. Here are some tips that can help make co-parenting after divorce a little bit easier.
Tip #1: Don’t forget you’re part of a team.
You may not be a married couple anymore, but you are still a parenting team. Even though you’re separated, you’re not parenting by yourself. There is still another parent involved and decisions should still be made as a joint effort as much as you can. Whenever possible, stand together as a united team, whether it’s sporting events, school conferences, or in other decisions that show your kids that you are there to support them.
Tip #2: Don’t talk bad about the other parent in front of the kids.
This can be a difficult one at times, especially if the divorce ended badly or if there are other issues or resentment involved. But, no matter how bad things are between you and your ex, when a child hears someone that they love and respect talking bad about the other parent, it can be potentially harmful. If you’re continually putting your ex down, that is a minute that you could be using to instead build up your child’s self-esteem. If you must express frustration, talk to a friend or another person that you can trust. Don’t use your children as sounding boards.
Tip #3: Keep your children set up for success.
Divorce is a very difficult transition for children. It can rock their world and may leave them questioning why. Help them stay on track by communicating continually and expressing how valuable they are. Keep their routine as normal as possible and give them the tools to succeed. Sign them up for classes or hobbies they enjoy, keep them surrounded with loving friends and family, and make the home atmosphere as stable and positive as possible.
Co-parenting after divorce takes patience and a commitment to being flexible and understanding at times. Sometimes, you’ll need to sacrifices for the sake of what is best for your children. Raising kids is hard, but raising them separately is even harder. Focus on communication, try to minimize bickering over small or insignificant issues, and keep your eyes on what is really important: your children.