Often after a few years of marriage, a couple decides to part ways. Though there is no harm in doing so, the problem lies in how you manage the kids. Getting a divorce is only the beginning of the road.
As reality seeps in, you realize that being a co-parent is indeed a tough job. For the sake of the betterment of the child, conscious co-parenting is the need of the day. In case you are also struggling with how to handle this matter, here are some tips that should help.
Set a professional relationship with your Ex
The relationship you had with your spouse is over, and both of you have moved ahead. However, the kids are still there on a crossroad, and you both have to guide them into reaching the destination. Consider your co-parenting as a business partnership, the result of which would be well cared for kids.
For example, if the other partner has to pick the kids for any activity, do not criticize them for being late. Neither blow your handle if they are unable to take up any responsibility once in a while.
To ensure that you follow this approach, you have to take care that your divorce is not messy.
Keep your communication clear and well defined
For effective co-parenting, your communication has to be well-defined. In case bad communication was one reason for your divorce, you have to learn how to keep emotions out of your talks.
Stop the blame game and name shaming and keep your conversations only to the point that is required. Co-parenting is never about one team winning over the other. It has to be about teamwork, compromise, and adjustments.
Even if you are facing problems with the other parent, do not mention that before the child. Never force the child to take any sides and in no circumstances use them as your messengers. If you have any message to send to the co-parent, talk to him/her yourself as that is the way grown-up adults should behave.
Prepare a comprehensive parenting plan
Just like a partnership requires a set of rules to abide by, the same applies to co-parenting as well. Prepare a proper set of guidelines and divide the set of responsibilities with each other. If the kids are going to stay mostly with you and sometimes with the other parent, decide the days on which the same will be done.
Vacations are another bone of contention between parents. You may have to plan your vacation schedule such that there is no overlapping. Kids thrive on structure and routine, and if you change your plans repeatedly, they might find it hard to adjust to the new circumstances. Developing such a comprehensive plan would be difficult, and it is always advisable to ask a third party to mediate and join you as you do so. This could be a common friend you know would still be neutral in the way things are carried out.
Respect the other parent’s time with your children
Your kids will remain yours only, and there is no need to feel insecure about them. When your co-parent is taking them out for some siesta time, do not disturb them. Avoid texting or regular calling to know the updates.
In the end, the kids will come back to your home only. If they have made plans already, do not alter them at the last minute just to keep your ego satisfied.
They are entitled to have some secluded time with their other parent, and you should not try and snatch that right from them. Moreover, by doing so, you are pushing them away from you as the children find such parents too clingy.
You will miss them when they are out, but once they are back, they will have lots to tell you.
Take professional support
Divorces, however easy-going, are going to be a painful experience in the end. It is difficult for the couple to forego things quickly and move ahead. However, if you are experiencing mixed emotions, you should consult some outside support.
Feeling depressed and sad can affect your co-parenting skills as well; hence try and come out of that feeling.
You could consult a psychiatrist or meditate regularly. Apart from that, there are support groups and maybe your past friends who could prove helpful at this point. Unfortunately for many people, their personal identities are restricted to their marriages, and once that ends, it is hard to cope up. Don’t let your grief go beyond the limit of coming back.
Use co-parenting to achieve personal growth
Fortunately, following the co-parenting schedule would help you in achieving personal growth as well. You will be able to adjust to the new life quickly and plan everything in advance. This reduces the chances of your facing any handling issues later on.
When you learn to treat your ex respectfully and in a patient manner, it paves the way for you to use the same tips in your professional life.
Not only that, when you handle all your issues properly, your children treat you with respect and consider you as a role model. They also understand the importance of dealing with a traumatic situation and coming out as a winner in the end. This strengthens their ability to tackle any kind of trials and problems they might face in life ahead.
Your life becomes devastated when a relationship breaks up. However, if you are practical and handle the situation smartly, you can move ahead smoothly. Follow the above tips to ensure a healthy co-parenting relationship with your ex.
Divorce would have already caused some hatred, but when it comes to your kids, you must leave all that aside. Kids should have a happy parenting approach, and both parents should be on the same platform while working on this.
In the end, maybe your partner might find someone else to spend his life with. Change the co-parenting rules in case something like that happens.