Co-parenting is not easy, but it is one of the best things divorced parents can do for their children. What you need to do is make sure you learn about some rules that could help you do this successfully. The following are some rules you should keep in mind to make the process easier for your children and yourself.
The first thing you and your partner have to do is set your feelings aside. Yes, you might feel hurt, angry, or disappointed, but your feelings are not as important as your child or children. The feelings you might feel towards each other cannot dictate your actions.
If you ever feel like those feelings are bubbling up, step away and wait until you talk to a therapist, good friend, family member, or even your pet. It's okay to vent because it helps curb some of your negative feelings.
Don't Weaponize Children
One thing many parents do, especially when they are separated, is they weaponize their children or child. Parents shouldn't do that to each other. Don't make your child or children choose between you two, and don't send messages through them.
All of these actions end up making a child or your children feel like they are in the middle of your disagreements. This is not the kind of responsibility your child should have. Honesty is okay but try to remain united for the sake of your children.
You must learn to communicate with your ex effectively. For example, if you are going to tell your kids about a disagreement, then make sure you both say it and that you don't blame anyone for the problem.
You should learn some good communication practices that'll help make it easier for you two to talk to each other. Learn to listen, always request rather than demand, and keep your communication courteous. Try to talk to the other parent like you would a colleague.
Make it Consistent
A big reason co-parents end up fighting is that they don’t follow a set schedule, and want to make last-minute changes. Now, changes may happen at some point, but do your best to keep things as consistent as possible. Stick to the routine and plan that you and your ex agreed upon. Your child needs stability in their life now more than ever.
Don't change disciplinary tactics, and don't change any rules you've both followed for some time. If a change is going to happen, then you need to make sure you tell your ex about this change before it happens. Try to discuss it as early as possible so that you both can set up a new routine that'll work to accommodate these new changes. Of course, you can expect the same courtesy from your ex.
Rethink Your Parenting
Your kids are going to need time to adjust to everything that is going on. Do your best to give your kid that time. If your child or children don't feel like talking too much after returning to your home, then allow that time. Don't make a big deal about talking about what might have happened at your ex's house.
If your child or children want to talk about what happened, then let them do so, but you shouldn’t interrogate them. They should feel comfortable enough to know if they want to talk they can, but they don’t have to.
This doesn't mean you can't say anything at all. Maybe you can ask whether they had a good time with their other parent. You just want to make sure that if your child or children do feel want to talk about their time with you, that you listen to them and don’t make any unnecessary comments. For example, you shouldn’t say anything rude or hurtful about your ex. This can be harmful to your child’s relationship with not only their other parent but you as well.
Need Help Creating a Parenting Plan?
Of course, if you and your ex-spouse cannot figure out how to co-parent effectively, it may be time to talk to a custody attorney from DeTommaso Law Group who'll be able to help you set up more effective rules. A skilled attorney has experience with drafting up with visitation plans as well as helping divorced parents understand their child custody options.
Call DeTommaso Law Group today at (908) 274-3028 to discuss your child custody case.