After a divorce, it’s time to build a new normal — not just for yourself but also for your children. Many recently divorced parents feel frustrated and anxious that they have to have a continued relationship with their ex-spouse as co-parents. We certainly understand this anxiety. That’s why today’s blog post is about ways you can move past your negative feelings and build a successful co-parenting relationship that will benefit you, your children, and even your former spouse.
- Demonstrate respect and flexibility.
It is absolutely essential for co-parents to respect one another, even if they no longer love each other romantically as they once did. This means respecting your co-parent’s decisions, respecting their boundaries, and respecting their schedule. And while it may not seem respectful of your ex-spouse to drop off the children 20 minutes late, part of respect is also demonstrating flexibility. You must treat them as you wish to be treated and understand that sometimes life gets in the way of our best intentions.
- Communicate thoroughly.
If you’re running late, send a text to let your co-parent know. If you want to swap weekends, explain why and ask if that’s okay. It is important to address one another directly and clearly, and not to beat around the bush. Communicate with your co-parent when your child has shared something with you that they may benefit from knowing about. Communicate with them when you’ve been dealing with an ongoing behavioral issue. Ideally, good communication can help you give your children consistency between households. Whether they’re with mom or dad, the general rules and expectations should be as similar as possible.
- Do not use your child as a go-between.
When you’re communicating, remember that your child is not your personal assistant or your messenger. There are lots of issues with using your child as a go-between. For one, the message can get muddled. It can also cause your child to feel unhealthily responsible for your relationship with your ex-spouse — and to blame themself if things don’t go perfectly.
- Learn from your mistakes.
It is inevitable that there will be hiccups in your transition into successful co-parenting. Don’t be too hard on yourself, or on your co-parent. The important thing is that you learn from your mistakes and keep forwards. As long as you continue working towards your common goal of raising a happy, healthy child, it will all work out for the best.
If you are facing a family law matter like divorce or child custody issues, the Law Offices of Kayleene H. Writer team is here for you. If you’re ready to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, contact us today.