For divorced parents, the co-parenting process poses unique challenges. Not only will your approach and decisions change as your children get older, but you need to maintain communication with your ex to sustain your co-parenting efforts. There are ways to make co-parenting less stressful and more successful for your family.
Consider these tips to improve your co-parenting situation.
Approach co-parenting as a business transaction
When the relationship between you and your ex is tenuous, keep emotions out of the co-parenting conversations. Approach those conversations as you would a business transaction and speak simply, cordially and respectfully but without personal feelings. This reduces conflict and stress.
Put your children first, not in the middle
Divorced parents with a difficult relationship tend to put their children in the middle of the relationship. Sometimes it happens unintentionally, so be mindful of your communications. Prioritize your children’s needs in your decision-making, but keep them out of the conflict between you and their other parent.
Be flexible when it counts
As a co-parent, concessions come with the territory. Recognize areas where you have more flexibility even if you would prefer otherwise. By offering flexibility in some areas, including changing visitation dates, you have the opportunity to negotiate things that are more important to you later, such as specific holidays or vacation schedules.
Remember that your co-parenting arrangement is about the children, not your relationship. Put the children first in your decisions and prioritize their needs. Keeping your emotions out of the discussion helps you reach more amicable and acceptable solutions.