So how does one successfully co-parent? Below are some tips to help guide you in this new transition.
- Set aside your anger, hurt and resentment.
In order to manage your own feelings, talk with friends, a mental health profession or support groups. When your feelings flare up, think of your kids or look at pictures of them to help remind you that you are looking out for their best interest.
- Don’t put your kids in the middle.
- Improve your communication with the other parent.
When communicating with the ex, keep in mind that you want to go about it in the most non-conflicting manner. It does not have to be in person. It can be via email, phone or text. Set a business like tone, make requests, listen, commit to meeting or talking consistently, keep conversations kid focused and try to solve stress quickly so it doesn’t build up.
- Co-parent as a team.
Make important decisions together. This will include medical, educational and kid related financial decisions. There may be times when the other parent is able to afford something that you can’t. Again, don’t focus on how you can’t provide that for your child but rather that your child is able to experience it or have it.
Disagreements are bound to happen so set to work on resolving them. Remember to be respectful when talking with your ex, be flexible with schedules, fill the other parent in on information from school or other activities the children do. Keep in mind that even if you both are struggling to agree on a certain topic, it’s still important to keep talking. If needed, get a third party professional to help with facilitating the conversations.
- Make transitions and visitations easier for the children.
When your child returns to your house, keep things low key to allow your child to get adjusted back to your house. Allow them to have some space if they need it. You can also have a special routine for when they return if they need it. This could be a special meal, game, movie or activity.
Again, co-parenting is not easy but it’s what’s best for your children. It will take some time to get your feelings under control but the sooner the better it is for your child. No matter what, don’t give up trying to make it work.