How to Make Co-Parenting Work
The fact that two people could not make a marriage work should not be a barrier to successful co-parenting. After all, your roles as parents are different than they were as spouses, and two people can certainly get along for the sake of their children.
Nevertheless, some people express nervousness about whether they can get along for a decade or more to make co-parenting work. Maybe there are lingering hard feelings from the divorce, or maybe one spouse has immediately moved on and formed a new family. Regardless of the reasons, you can make co-parenting work if you follow some sensible tips.
Speak Only Positively About Your Ex
Children fight with their parents, and it might be perfectly natural for your child to complain or badmouth your ex. However, focus on positive communication. For one thing, any negative comment you make about your ex might find its way back to him or her. Also, you should encourage your child to work out disagreements in a productive manner.
Keep Rules Consistent
Children benefit from routine and consistent rules. If possible, try to make the rules the same in both houses and enforce them consistently. Of course, this requires that you set up the rules ahead of time with your ex.
Maintain Open Dialogue with Your Ex
Maybe you can not stand your ex, but you need to put these feelings aside to make co-parenting work. Keep open lines of communication, even if this only involves sending text messages or emails. Do not expect your child to communicate a message to the other parent. Chances are they will forget or not communicate your message accurately.
Respect Each Other’s Time
As your children get older, they might get cell phones. Try not to monopolize their time by sending texts or emails. Let your children enjoy time with Mom or Dad. If there is something you need to tell your children, wait until they return home, if at all possible.
Enjoy Some Alone Time
One of the benefits of co-parenting is that it gives you some time to yourself. Enjoy it! Pick up a hobby or take a class. It might also be a good time to date, especially if you are nervous about introducing someone new to your children so soon after the divorce. By filling up your alone time, you will feel recharged and ready to see your children again when they finally return home.
Use “We,” Not “You”
The language you use can make a huge difference in how your ex responds to suggestions. Instead of saying, “You really need to do…” try to say, “We should try….” By framing your statements this way, you come across as less aggressive. You also create a bond by suggesting you are both in this together.
Is Divorce on the Horizon? Contact Us Today
Divorce does not have to acrimonious, but you do need to be proactive about protecting your rights. At Fout Law, we help husbands and wives get off on the right foot, which sets them up well for the future.
To learn more about how we can help, please reach out to us today. You can schedule a consultation by calling 330-437-7455. A North Canton divorce attorney is only a phone call away.