As a parent dealing with life after divorce, it's imperative to turn your full attention to the well-being of your children. Co-parenting is not always easy, but the right approach will reduce stress and help you provide your children with a stable environment.
Here are five co-parenting tips to follow:
- Put yourself in the other parent's shoes: It's easy to think about yourself, and nothing else, but a little bit of empathy can go a long way. Just because you don't get along with your ex-spouse doesn't mean you shouldn't care about their feelings.
- Let flexibility guide you: A schedule is important to co-parenting success, but flexibility will help keep the peace. If the other parent asks for a schedule change, consider accommodating their request. Just the same, don't hesitate to ask for cooperation if something comes up on your end.
- Pick your battles carefully: There are times when you have to disagree and argue with your ex. There are also times when you're better off sweeping the issue under the rug and moving on with your life.
- Communicate clearly and efficiently: You can't assume that you know what the other parent is thinking. You can't assume that your ex knows your thoughts. Keeping an open line of communication improves the likelihood of successful co-parenting. It doesn't matter if you communicate face to face, over the phone or via text, as long as you're both comfortable.
- Don't talk about your personal life: Things change after divorce, but that doesn't mean you have to share your new life with your ex-spouse. For example, if you're dating and it has no impact on your children, don't assume you have to share this with your ex. Keep your personal life personal!
It's not always easy to follow these co-parenting tips, as there are challenges standing in your way all the time. However, if you get serious about your responsibilities as a parent, it's easier to feel good about the path you're following.
In the event that your ex-spouse continually makes life difficult on you, such as by violating the parenting agreement, you'll want to learn more about your legal rights. You may have to take legal action to put the issues to rest and avoid similar situations in the future.