There might be emotions you experience after your divorce that aren’t always positive. But when you have children that you co-parent with your ex, you shouldn’t let the negativity that brought your marriage down guide your post-divorce partnership.
Bringing positive energy into co-parenting will help your children feel safe in each of their parents’ homes. And it can begin with finding middle ground and not avoiding one another.
Instead of approaching all your conversations with your co-parent with demands, requests and rules, it’ll be more fruitful to work together. When you both list out what you need from one another, you can come up with a custody schedule that works around both of your lifestyles. Plus, showing that you are willing to be flexible when your co-parent gets a new work schedule or plans a spontaneous vacation will allow you to lean on them if you ever need to make a last-minute or long-term parenting plan adjustments.
How you communicate with one another can also set you up for success or disaster. You’ll want to strive to be direct with what you have to say. This means using your words to convey your concerns, rather than actions. For example, you shouldn’t withhold your monthly contribution to your child’s piano lessons because your ex won’t respond to your question about picking the kids up early next weekend. Instead, it’ll be important to both follow-up on your parental duties and directly ask your co-parent if they’ve thought about your question.
Being straightforward also means not asking your child to be a messenger between you and your ex. Having your children deliver your news can make them feel like they are in the middle of a fight, which is stress you shouldn’t pass along to your little ones.
Maybe you both agree that your disagreements make it difficult for you to work together after divorce. It’s crucial to admit that early on and develop a parallel parenting arrangement that allows your children to have a strong relationship with both parents — even if you aren’t friendly with your ex.