While your relationship with your former spouse changes after the end of your marriage, any children you had together still love both of you as their parents. It can be difficult to adapt to a new lifestyle and a new way of communicating with each other after the divorce, for you and your kids. With some preparation and an open mind, however, you and your ex may be able to ease the transition and continue to help your children thrive even when you don’t live in the same home anymore.
Here are some tips to help you co-parent and maintain a civil relationship in the process.
Communicate with each other about the details; don’t use the kids as a go-between. Don’t depend on the kids to pass on all the correct details of an event or get-together without missing a key piece or two. It’s not their responsibility to manage your calendar. Have the planning discussions with your ex-spouse instead.
Remember your ex may still be a great parent, even if he or she struggled as a spouse. The things that made your relationship difficult may not exist in your ex’s relationship with your children. Even if that person isn’t fun for you to be around, he or she may be excellent with your children. Choose to look at the positive personality traits that person possesses and be grateful for the things they do well with your children even if you don’t always get along.
Commit to positive language about each other in front of the kids. Even if your ex is a wonderful co-parent, chances are you’re still going to disagree every once in a while. Address those things in private or vent to a close friend, but focus on the positive things about the other person when you’re around the kids.
Cool down before bringing up grievances. Let enough time pass to allow your anger to subside. Try to wait until you’re certain you can address the situation without overreacting in the heat of the moment.
Focus on the main thing: you both love your kids and want what’s best for them. Ultimately, what matters most is for your children to know they’re loved and supported by both of their parents. If your ex has a different parenting style than you do, try not to get upset or angry as long as the kids are still safe and loved.
If your co-parenting situation isn’t working out as you’d like or if your custody arrangement needs to be revisited, we can help. Call us at 727-584-8182 for a free initial consultation. We’d love to help you continue to keep your children’s wellbeing at the forefront of your lives.