Co-parenting is one of the hardest things to do. Your marriage already broke down, and now you have to work together with your ex-spouse to parent your child. While it may be difficult at first, co-parenting your child is usually the best thing to do in the long run.
When you are co-parenting, your child benefits from you and your ex getting along (or at least appearing that way) and working together. It shows you're committed to making your child's life easier and committed to raising him or her as a team.
How can you make co-parenting work for your situation? There are dozens of tips out there, but these three help many couples:
- Stay focused on your child: The first thing you have to remember is that you don't need to bring every issue from your marriage into your parenting arrangements. Think about your child only. Think about what's good for him or her and what you want to see happen in his or her life. Put your child first and leave any unresolved issues or conflicts at the door.
- Restrain yourself: Yes, there are times when ex-spouses make mistakes that you want to yell or scream about. There are errors that might affect your child. There are mistakes that you knew better than to make. Restrain yourself. Don't become too critical. You and your ex have both started a journey to raise a child, and it takes time to learn what works and what doesn't. Becoming aggressive, violent or combative doesn't help.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate: Finally, communicate. No, that doesn't mean sending your child to his or her dad's or mom's house with a message. Pick up the phone, write an email or even dictate a letter for your ex. Never put your child in the middle.
While going through a divorce or split from a former partner is never easy, these tips can make co-parenting less stressful and help you and your ex become better parents.