After going through a divorce, co-parenting with your former spouse might seem like an insurmountable task, especially if you were just at each other’s throats in court. You both need to keep in mind that co-parenting is not about you or your failed marriage. Your children are the focus and, therefore, it is crucial for both parties to set aside any remaining issues they might have with one another and work together to ensure their children are raised in a healthy, nurturing environment that allows them to continue to thrive.
Of course, co-parenting effectively with your ex-spouse might be a little easier said than done. If this change in family dynamics is still relatively new for you, the idea of co-parenting with your ex probably sounds daunting.
To set you on the right path, we compiled a list of useful tips that will help make co-parenting with your former spouse a little easier:
- Engage in some self-reflection: Before you start focusing on the outward work that needs to be done, look inward and try to acknowledge and fix the habits within that need changing. Spend some time on your own and ask yourself who you want to become, not only for your children, but for yourself. The fact is that it takes two for a marriage to fail, so it is important to understand your part in it and what you can do to ensure your relationship as co-parents goes more smoothly.
- Do not let others partake in decision-making when it comes to your children: Sure, it might be helpful to hear other opinions, but decisions regarding your children should only be made by you and your co-parent. When you start letting others weigh in, especially new partners, it can create a whole new set of problems that can further strain your relationship as co-parents.
- Set positive intentions for your relationship as co-parents: It might seem hard to believe now, but at one point, your former spouse was someone whom you loved and cared for. Remember that you do not have to be an enemy to one another simply because your marriage did not work out. Instead of being determined to hate your ex-spouse forever, set your intention to work together as a team to raise your children. You both still have a common goal to see them be happy, healthy individuals.
- Do not try to make your new partner’s needs and feelings anything your ex-spouse should be concerned about: Your new partner is important to you, but his or her needs are not exactly relevant to your former spouse, so do not try to dump them on your co-parent. If your new partner has something to say about your relationship with your co-parent, this is an issue you need to handle yourself. Your priority is your children and how you can both care for them, so avoid trying to steer the focus elsewhere.
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