Moving forward after divorce is difficult for everyone, and trying to figure out how to co-parent complicates things even further. Here are some tips to help you co-parent with your ex.
Put Your Child First
Putting your child first is an absolute necessity for successful co-parenting. Always consider their wants and needs above your own.
Putting your child first doesn’t mean that you stop taking care of yourself. Your child also deserves a parent that’s happy and healthy. Self-care is vital, so be sure to rest, eat healthy, exercise and make time in your busy schedule to do something special for yourself. This way, you give your child her parent at their very best.
The Golden Rule
The best co-parenting relationships have the best communication. To practice the golden rule, share the information you would like, and expect, to have shared with you. Neglecting to share information could risk unintended negative consequences for your child.
For example, if you get your child immunized for school and don’t tell your ex, your ex might also get your child immunized for school. This could have unintended consequences for your child.
If you’re having difficulty communicating with your ex in person or by phone, try text or e-mail.
Children need structure to feel safe, secure and loved. Therefore, it’s important that you and your ex create a united front for the sake of your child and try to keep schedules as similar as possible. Resist the urge to give in to demands out of guilt: it’s familiarity and routine that will make your child feel loved and cared for.
Even with the best of intentions, things will not be as perfect as we would like. If your ex lets your kids eat sweets or stay up late, you must learn to accept the different ways your homes are run. If you let go of control you’ll put less anxiety on your children, and relieve yourself of the stress of trying to control something you can’t.
Respect Each Other
Regardless of what happened in your personal relationship with your ex, your ex is still your child’s parent. To that end, you must respect your ex for the sake of your child. Don’t speak ill of your ex in front of your child, and don’t talk to your children about issues or difficulties with your ex.
Although your relationship with your ex didn’t work out, your relationship as co-parents of your child is forever. Let your child feel the love from both of her parents without feeling like she has to choose. A stable home and positive role models will help ensure your child grows up to be a happy, productive adult.
If you need help developing better and more positive communication with your ex, give me a call today and let’s set up an appointment to talk.
MindTree Holistic Counseling & Wellness Center LLC
5440 SW Westgate Dr # 210
Portland, Oregon 97221