How to co-parent after a divorce
Co-parenting with an ex-spouse is never an easy task, particularly for those who still have contentious relationships and unresolved issues. You might be focused on feelings of resentment or other feelings and events of the past. However, it is crucial that you and your ex-spouse learn to cooperate and overcome any lingering conflicts that might still exist for the benefit of your children. Amicable co-parenting is key to providing a stable and secure environment for your children.
Here are some tips to help you learn how to remain calm and resolve conflicts responsibly, so you can make this situation work and allow your kids to thrive:
- Set aside hurt feelings and anger: Remember, this is about your children and not about the past you share with your ex-spouse. This does not mean your feelings are not important, but rather that you need to choose another outlet to release them. Vent to your friends, a therapist, or engage in activities that allow you to let out some steam. Of course, never express your anger or frustration to your child. Putting them in the middle will only harm them, so keep them out of it and never use them as messengers in any conflicts with your ex.
- Work on communicating with your co-parent: Optimum communication can help avoid a lot of the hurdles you might encounter with your co-parent. To improve your communication try the following:
- Set an appropriate, business tone. This will help remove the emotional aspects and encourage more cordial, neutral, and respectful interactions.
- Make requests instead of demands. Statements often get misinterpreted as demands, so try to frame your requests as questions.
- Become a better listener. Good communicating is not just about using the right words and phrasing, but about listening well. Both voices should be heard in a healthy co-parenting relationship.
- Keep your conversations kid-focused. Allowing your conversations to veer off course and into other topics puts you at risk for getting involved in arguments or disagreements that will serve no one’s interests, especially your children.
- Be a team and present a united front: Being able to cooperate as a team is crucial for your children and provides the kind of stable environment they need to prevent any confusion. Part of this involves creating one set of expectations for children for both households, including rules, discipline, and rewards. When your children know what to expect in either household, it makes the transition from home to home far less jarring.
- Make visitations easier: Visitations can be difficult for children because reuniting with a parent also means separating from another. Of course, the transitions themselves are unavoidable, but that does not mean you cannot make it easier on your children. Help your children anticipate the change by reminding them about their visit in advance and helping them pack. You should also always drop off and never pick up your child to avoid making them feel as though they are being taken away.
Jackson, MS Family Law Attorneys
At Grant Legal Group PA, our Jackson family law attorneys are experienced and solution-focused, no matter how complex or straightforward your case might be. We are committed to helping clients effectively resolve a wide range of matters and will take the time to listen to your questions and concerns to ensure the right legal course of action that best protects your family’s interests.
Contact us today at (601) 827-3031 to schedule a free consultation.