Divorce can be emotionally exhausting for all parties involved. When it’s all said and done, you may think you never have to see or speak to your ex-spouse again. But if you have children, you and your ex will need to figure out how to co-parent effectively.
Even though you may want nothing to do with your ex, co-parenting is for the sake of your children’s emotional and mental wellbeing. Here are some ways to be a successful co-parent:
Put feelings toward your ex on the backburner
It can be difficult to set aside the hurt or anger you feel toward your ex, but it is necessary for communication moving forward. You and your ex will need to communicate regularly about responsibilities and events in your child’s life. Channeling negative feelings into those conversations could make co-parenting more difficult.
Communicate effectively with your ex
Communication will be one of the most important factors for successful co-parenting. Using effective listening skills and phrasing statements as requests can help you stay calm in a conversation with your ex.
It may also help to think of your ex as a colleague and speak to them professionally and neutrally. Remember that co-parenting is about your children. Therefore, conversations should be about your children’s needs only, not yours or your ex’s.
Maintain consistency between households
Moving between two households with drastically different rules and schedules could confuse your children and cause tension with your ex. Maintaining consistent bedtimes, curfews and disciplinary methods could help your children adjust to living in two different homes.
It should get better over time
At first, co-parenting may be difficult. Trying to align schedules and establish effective communication methods may not happen immediately, and it could take some time before it works itself out. But it’s important to remember that co-parenting is for your children’s sake. Working diligently to be successful co-parents will help your children’s emotional wellbeing.