Co-parenting amicably after a divorce is rarely easy, but it is important because it will give your children the stability, security and a close relationship with both parents they need. That’s right, co-parenting after a divorce is not about you or your ex, it’s all about the children.
The co-parenting struggle is a real issue. According to studies, by the age of 9, more than one in five children experience a parental breakup. As parents, you both need to suck it up and collaborate as a team for the sake of the children.
This does not mean you have to be BFFs after the divorce, but you have to be cordial at the very least. Of course, this is far easier said than done. So Loomis and Greene, your family law attorney in Loveland, offers these tips on co-parenting.
What Does It Mean?
Try to think of co-parenting as decision making for the children. Even if you and your ex are no longer married, you still need to work as a team to help your children thrive. The best way to do this is to put everything else aside, no matter how difficult the divorce may have been.
It might take quite an effort to work together, but you have to realize that you love your children more than you despise your ex.
Find a Support Network
Tensions can and will run high when co-parenting, so it is important that you have someone to talk to when you are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. This could be a friend, family member or even a professional, it doesn’t matter just as long as you get the support you need.
It is even a good idea to join a support group, even if it is something online.
Leave the Kids Out
Sometimes parents make the mistake of treating their kids as a friend. They may even bounce ideas off of them concerning decisions both parents have made. Some parents even discuss money and parenting issues with their kids, this is not a good idea.
If you wish to give your children a voice, let them talk about the clothes they want to wear, the foods they like to eat and what their favorite classes are. Whatever you do, don’t engage in conversations about where they want to live or where they will go to school.
When kids have too much power, it will lead to poor choices and less respect for their parents. It can also leave kids feeling guilty, anxious and depressed.
Don’t Ignore Special Days
It is important to keep in mind that you are adults and you should act as such in any situation. This means putting aside your feelings to ensure the children have a sense of family.
For example, kids typically don’t have the money or the means to get a gift for a parents’ birthday or Mother’s Day or whatever the case may be. Just know that when the children go to moms or dads without a present, they might feel guilty or embarrassed. This is why you should take them to get the parent a gift.
No Bad Mouthing Ever
Never speak negatively about your ex when the children are within earshot. You should also make sure any third party around not say anything bad in front of the children as well.
It is all too easy to channel your anger on someone who makes your life miserable, but there will be a negative consequence if the kids hear this. When you bad mouth your spouse, you are teaching your children to be disrespectful and ugly. It might also make the children feel uncomfortable and insecure.
Even if you can’t stand your ex, your children should never know about it.
If you are muting your phone and ignoring it when your ex calls, you are avoiding your responsibilities. You don’t have to jump through hoops when you ex calls, but be available in case it is about the children.
And should you get a text from your ex about the children, respond politely and promptly.
It is important that you show flexibility. This means you don’t make a fuss when your ex has to change up the schedule or is running late when doing a kid exchange. Suck it up and deal with it because you will run into the same problems as well.
There will be disagreements, there is no way around that. But it is best to keep heated moments from the kids. If there needs to be a conversation that might involve raised voices, have that conversation at a neutral location with the children far away.
If you are going through a divorce, it is important that you have an attorney on your side. Call the Law Offices of Loomis and Greene today.