We know co-parenting can be tricky when you no longer get along with your ex. But to ensure your kids have a loving, stable environment, you can take steps to be good co-parents.
1. Control Your Emotions
To successfully co-parent, you need to keep your emotions in check for the sake of your children. It’s hard to push hurt and anger aside, but vital, nonetheless. Your children’s happiness and well-being are the sole priorities you both should keep in mind.
Don’t put your child in the middle by venting to them or arguing in front of them. Find friends or a therapist to talk to instead. Remember to keep your issues with your ex to yourself, and away from your children.
2. Communicate in a Dignified Manner
In order to co-parent with success, you and your former spouse need to communicate in a mature manner. It’s essential that you strive to do this for the good of your children. Make sure you approach your communications with dignity by talking with them using a business-like tone, just as you would a business colleague. Be cordial and respectful, using restraint.
Successful communication also involves making requests, instead of demands. Just as you would with a co-worker or friend, respectfully asking is the way to go.
Even if you disagree on matters, you and your ex can still express yourselves with maturity. That includes listening to what they have to say, trying to see the issue from their perspective, and working together to find a solution.
3. Work As a Team
Having a good co-parenting relationship with your ex-involves working together, for the good of all involved. That means making sure your children know they have the same set of expectations, no matter which parent they’re with. Making sure there’s no confusion in rules, schedules, and discipline creates consistency and helps reduce resentment.
4. Make Visitation Transitions Smoother
Regardless of how often your children move between your household and your ex’s, making that transition can be incredibly hard on them. A happy reunion with one of you is a simultaneous separation from the other. Although these transitions are inevitable, you can take steps to make them much easier for your children. That includes being positive about their visit to your ex’s and reminding them in advance so it’s something they look forward to. As part of that ritual, help them pack ahead of time so they won’t feel rushed or forget anything. Make sure they pack special items that are close to their heart, as well.
When your children return to you, keep things low key with a calm activity. Also establish a routine, such as a regular activity or meal you both enjoy.
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