Co-parenting is when both parents maintain an active and healthy role in the lives of their children. And the best way to ensure that your kids’ needs are met is to allow them to have a close relationship with both mom and dad.
There is plenty of research that shows that the quality of the relationship between co-parents has a strong influence on the emotional and mental well-being of the children.
We get it, joint custody arrangements can be infuriating, exhausting and fraught with distress. Sometimes, it is all too difficult to get past the agonizing history that was your marriage and you need time to overcome the bitterness.
But you are both able to make shared decisions, speak to each other cordially and interact with each other as needed if you work hard and are dedicated to making things better. For the sake of your children, work to develop a positive relationship with your ex.
Co-parenting after a divorce is never easy, especially if you have a contentious relationship with your ex-spouse. You might have some concerns about your ex-spouse’s ability to parent, worried about child support or other financial issues or feel worn out by constant conflict. There could also be resentments in your relationship.
But in times like this, you need to consider what is best for the children. Co-parenting amicably with your ex will give your kids the security, stability and close relationships with both parents that they need. For the sake of your kids, it is best if you can overcome your differences and develop a healthy working relationship with your ex. The Law Offices of Loomis and Greene, your divorce lawyer in Loveland, offers tips to co-parenting that will help you stay consistent, calm and help you resolve conflicts.
Children Come First
Whatever issues you might have with your ex, that can be put on the back burner. Your kids’ needs and well-being should be what matters most. Divorce can be emotional and messy, but what is important is making your children feel safe and secure and this cannot be accomplished if you or your spouse are acting the fool.
Do whatever it takes to get past the hatred, even if it means seeing a therapist to help you through it.
Get on the Same Page
For successful co-parenting, you and your ex need to be on the same page. Now, nobody can be expected to agree on every little thing, but at least be consistent and in agreement with rules regarding behavior, discipline and other big and important stuff.
The reality is that you and your ex will likely have different parenting styles and there will be conflicts that need to be ironed out. If you can reasonably trust that both you and your ex are committed to raising your kids in a happy, healthy and supportive environment, then you are off on the right foot.
Never speak negatively about your ex when the children are within earshot. If you feel as though you have to vent, reserve that conversation for your friends, family members or therapist. We get it, there are times it is difficult to hold your tongue, but you do it for the sake of the children.
Be aware that your kids will eventually gain a realistic view of the both of you as they grow up and become adults. So if your ex is really a bad parent or lousy person, the kids will come to that realization on their own without you having to say anything.
Experts agree that bad mouthing a parent can be detrimental to children.
Don’t Worry, Be Positive!
It might take quite the effort on your part, but at least try to share some good points about your ex in the children’s presence. You could mention a food dish your ex cooks that is good or compliment your ex on the good job they do reading to the kids or doing activities with them. Really, whatever it takes.
Quality Over Quantity
A good relationship with your children isn’t based on the number of hours you spend with them. Don’t be overly concerned about having an even 50/50 split with both parents. You need to have a schedule in place that makes sense for everyone involved.
Pick Your Battles
Don’t expect everything will go as smoothly as possible. You and your ex will still have differences. And just realize that your kids know this and they are OK with it. They don’t expect dad to do things the same way as mom. There is no reason to bring up every little problem, pick and choose your battles.
Recognize the Challenges
No matter how well you get along with your ex, co-parenting is a challenge and there will be conflict. Don’t go into this thinking it will be an easy and smooth ride, it never is.
If you are going through a divorce and need an attorney, give the Law Offices of Loomis and Greene a call.