Divorce can have a tremendous effect on your children – their fear of losing one of their parents can cause anxiety, confusion, and insecurity. Cutting ties with your wife or husband doesn’t have to mean that your kids will have to go through life without a mother or a father. With responsible parents working together or co-parenting, there can be a better outcome than constantly fighting against each other over custody.
To make your co-parenting successful, consider these tips:
- Set Emotions Aside Going through a divorce can be very emotionally stressful. Divorced couples tend to feel angry and resentful toward each other. These emotions can get in the way of making co-parenting successful. No matter how difficult it may seem, you need to do your best to set these feelings aside. Make an effort to separate your emotions from your behavior. Your children should be a motivating factor.
- Prioritize Your Kids Co-parenting is not about you or your ex. It’s about your children. Focus on making the most of each moment you spend with them. Avoid putting your kids in the middle of the commotion. Don’t bring up your issues nor coax them into preferring you over your ex. The goal here is to give your kids a chance of having a good relationship with both of their parents.
- Maintain Constant Communication Communication is also vital for co-parenting, and you have to keep it constant both with your children and your ex. Yes, it may seem impossible at first, but once again, you must do it for the well-being of your children. Have a firm resolve to keep constant and casual contact with your ex. You can communicate through text, phone calls, or emails instead of meeting in person. But also know that having periodic meetings with your ex is inevitable, especially when it comes to making important decisions concerning your children.
- Cope with the Situation Having to separate with your children even for just a brief moment can make you feel lonely and worried. You have to learn to cope with it and to adjust in this period of transition. Your children will also need your support to cope with all the changes. Be brave enough to talk to them and to assure them that although you and your ex are no longer together, they can still rely on both of you and they won’t be abandoned.
- Respect Each Other Showing your children that you can maintain a sense of respect to your ex can shield them from having to deal with more traumas and prevent them from hating either of you. It also teaches them the value of respect even in times of conflict. For this to work, both you and your co-parent must show each other respect.
- Listen to Advice There are plenty of books on co-parenting that offer advice on how it can be done properly. Grab one for yourself. Another way to better understand co-parenting is by joining support groups. You get to meet others who are going through the same situation, and you can learn a thing or two about how they dealt with it in real life. You may also seek professional guidance from a family therapist.
Being a parent doesn’t stop after getting a divorce. If your ex is willing to take on the responsibility as a co-parent, be open to it. Both of you must commit to being the best parents you can be. Not everyone gets the chance to have that opportunity.