You’re going through a divorce. You are angry and hurt, and you want what is best for your children. What can you do? Co-Parenting is an option, but exactly what is co-parenting and what does it entail?
In Co-parenting, both parents work together, in cooperation, while maintaining responsibilities that are shared and equal. However, in a lot of cases, co-parenting is not an easy feat, especially when angry and hurt emotions are running high.
There are many concerns in the process of the divorce including worrying about how your ex will take care of your children, financial concerns such as child support, and working through the conflict and resentments that caused the relationship to fail in the first place.
Co-parenting, which is the new norm after a divorce. It is a way to make sure that your children’s needs are taken care of while at the same time giving them the gift of a close relationship with both of their parents. The quality of the relationship that you have with your ex-spouse has profound and long lasting effects on your children throughout their lives. Research has been done to show that it also helps to prevent depression, anxiety and the potential for suicide.
The bottom line is that co-parenting is the best option for the sake of your children.
You must put your children first before your anger and resentments with your ex. Be sure to take care of yourself and heal. It is an important process to ensure you are both able to be there for your kids. Always release your feelings away from your children and your ex; deal with the emotions, suppressing them with make it harder to co-parent.
For both parents to take a step toward co-parenting is crucial for you as the parent and especially for your children who will still be able to feel secure and have the feeling of stability that they need from both of you as their parents.
Putting aside the issues in your relationship with your ex will help in creating a co-parenting plan that will work for your children in the long run and bring them a bright future. The health and happiness of your kids are something that both parents agree on, so use this to your advantage.
Co-Parenting with Your Ex
Here are some things you can do to begin working on your co-parenting relationship.
- Be sure you understand why you want to co-parent and that it is the best choice for your kids and never allow the anger you may be feeling influence how you behave.
- When you are talking to your ex, always make it about the children’s needs. Using a business tone in conversation will help and build your self-confidence when having to talk to and work with your ex.
- It is a good idea to be consistent when it comes to rules and schedules for your children, especially the consequences for their behavior.
- Most of all, it is vital that you both learn how to compromise and always keep your focus on your children as it will help both of you to get through this.
- It is never a good idea to use your kids to communicate something for you to their other parent, that is your job., which will put them in the middle, and that is something you want to avoid.
- Confrontation and competition will never work in this situation. Be open to changing the way you discuss things. Requests such as, “I am open to ______, would you be willing to help me?” will really help.
- Communication is of the utmost importance. It might be an excellent time for both parents to take a class that teaches communication. Know this; listening is a huge proponent of communicating, so be sure to learn some new listening skills. When you listen to another, you are only giving them a chance to express themselves. You don’t have to agree, let them talk too.
- Included in your children’s needs are things like their medical, education, and financial; another crucial step to set up in your co-parenting plan. This way you know what direction to go in when something comes up, and it will.
- Make sure you take classes, see a therapist or coach, and have a support system. Do plenty of research to find better ways of co-existing with your ex now that your relationship has changed. If you run into an awkward spot, you could always get the help of a mediator.
More Co-Parenting Tips
What you have just read is just a summary of some of the things you can do. Do your research and set yourself up to succeed in your co-parenting plan. Start with setting the ground rules on communication and mutual respect. Talking things out, listening and respecting the other parent goes a long way and creates the groundwork for healthy and happy children.