Going through a divorce can bring the worst out of a couple that once promised each other forever. Your world will feel like it’s falling apart, and trying to co-parent when you’re struggling to simply keep going can feel impossible at times. Learning to co-parent won’t be easy, but believe it or not there are many couples that are doing it and even learning to do it well. Here are five strategies below to mindful of when considering co-parenting with your ex.
1. Focus on the Children
By maintaining the focus on what’s best for your children, you can work toward providing as peaceful a home as possible for them. Providing them loving stability and structure will help ease them through this time of transition. The arrangement itself is not as important as showing your kids a united front and keeping consistent with whatever the arrangement is. All family members will need to sacrifice to create a new way of living, but modeling a good and supportive attitude will be teaching your kids to control what they can. The ability of parents to interact amicably is THE essential greatest factor in determining your children’s well-being in the midst of such a difficult transition.
2. Communication is Essential
As you go through your divorce, your communication with your ex will inevitably suffer. It may be difficult to communicate with them; you may not want to talk to, or hear from, your ex. However, it’s important that communication regarding the children is maintained, and that your children are not used as messengers (i.e., “Tell your father you have a recital on Friday.”) Communicate directly with your spouse, finding creative ways to communicate to avoid conflict if necessary (text, email, letters, etc.) Again, what is most important is managing things in a way that allows you to be as amicable as possible and not put the kids in the middle to do it for you.
3. Just the Facts
If you’re harboring resentment or have unfinished emotional business with your ex, the desire to express your emotional needs can feel overwhelming. Make a commitment to yourself that for the sake of your children’s well being, you’ll keep conversations focused on the issues.
4. Embrace Change
As you go through your divorce, there will be a great deal of change for yourself, your ex and your children. By expecting and embracing change, you’ll reduce the stress you feel when the unexpected presents itself and simultaneously teaching your kids an essential life skill.
5. Prioritize Your Health
Maintaining your health is important not only for you, but for your children as well. They worry A LOT about you. As they learn to cope with the changes in their family, having a healthy, happy, rested parent will help them adjust. Additionally, taking time to exercise and eat healthy will help you take the focus off of your divorce, and shift the focus back on to you moving forward, and making positive changes in your own life.
As we go through a divorce, we all mourn the relationship lost, and the dreams we had of the future. Although your ex is no longer your partner, your ex is still your child’s parent, and you will always be co-parents of the children you have together. Learning to get along and communicate will bring comfort to your children as they learn to cope with divorce.
If you’re struggling to co-parent, don’t hesitate to call me today and set up an appointment to talk, I’d love to help!