We know that children with divorced parents thrive when their parents set aside the differences that may have led to divorce and focus on working together to provide stability for the entire family. When the wellbeing of the kids is the priority for both parents, children are more likely to grow up becoming more emotionally resilient.
Even if you don’t always get along with your child’s co-parent, there are some strategies you can adopt to smooth the transitions and help your children adapt to their new normal.
Agree on as much as possible.
Co-parenting may be a challenge as you learn how to interact with your child’s other parent in a new context. While many old grievances may have played a part in the end of the marriage, these conflicts should be set aside as you move forward. Whenever possible, agree with your co-parent, as long as the safety and wellbeing of your children is still at the forefront. Consider putting together a written parenting plan for the big things like school, religious expectations, and discipline issues, but remain flexible about less important things. Give your co-parent the freedom to make decisions differently than you may choose.
Give your children age-appropriate input regarding their time.
Small children will just enjoy seeing mom or dad, so both co-parents need to be equally involved in creating a time-sharing schedule that works for everyone. But as kids grow up and make more decisions for their own schedules, it’s important to give them a voice in how and when they spend time with their other parent. If a child wants to participate in an activity that is closer to your co-parent’s home, they may decide to spend certain days there to be able to participate. While divorce can introduce feelings of uncertainty for many children, those who are able to make their own choices about their time may enjoy the responsibility and the stability it provides.
Make an effort to be friendly with your co-parent.
When your children see that you are able to spend time with their other parent without having arguments or getting angry, it helps bolster their relationship with both of you. Whenever possible, make an effort to attend sporting events, school meetings, and other important activities for your child even if your co-parent will be there. Set aside differences so that you and your co-parent can both enjoy time with your children, even if this looks different than it did previously.
One of the benefits of a great co-parenting relationship is the stability it provides to your children. When your children know what to expect from each parent, they are more likely to grow and thrive at home. If you’d like to talk about ways you and your co-parent may need to adjust your parenting plan to benefit your children, Wagstaff Law Office is happy to help. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 to schedule your free consultation.