6 Tips for Co-Parenting During Divorce…
Co-Parenting, is it really that hard?
Divorce brings on many challenges. One of them is parenting for two when there is one of you and the
other is co-parenting. And to be honest, I personally found co-parenting harder than being a single
Co-parenting comes with a whole world of problems. The biggest being cooperation from the ex. In my
experience and in working with other women, the biggest challenges have come from co-parenting.
Sure we would all like to be like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and have a conscience uncoupling
and still take family trips together, but that is not the typical situation.
A few tips to consider as you embark on the journey of co-parenting.
1. Be prepared for last minute changes. No matter what, the best made plans go sideways. It
seems like the ex always has a last minute thing come up and then can’t take the kids or is really
late etc. My advice to you is this. Until you have been apart for a long time and patterns have
been established, try not to make too many plans assuming you won’t have your kids. Too
many times I have had to cancel plans due to my ex not showing up. And if you do have plans,
maybe don’t advertise them to the kids and the ex, because they ex might just cancel his
visitation to mess with your plans. Childish? I know right, but I see it happen time after time.
2. Make sure it’s really clear and all dates and times for visits, holidays etc. are laid out. This helps
to keep stability in your life as well as the lives of your children. It also makes planning
extracurricular activities easier.
3. Don’t speak badly to your children about each other. Respect that your children are children
and they have only one childhood. Don’t wreck it by bad mouthing your ex to your children. It
puts such anxiety and stress on them, that they often feel like they have to pick a side and that’s
a huge burden to place on a child.
4. Set ground rules about introducing your new boyfriend/girlfriend to the kids. Listen nobody
says you can’t move on with your life, but let’s be sensitive to the kids. If you are having a
casual fling maybe its best you don’t introduce him/her to the kids so as not to have them get
attached only to see them leave. Set a realistic time frame to introduce new partners to the kids
and stick to it. No exception even if you feel this is the one and the love of your life.
5. Don’t send messages to each other through the kids. That’s not fair. Things can get
misinterpreted and again, the kids don’t need to be involved. If you absolutely can’t speak to
one another then go through lawyers or friends to relay messages. The kids are not mules to be
used as messengers.
And finally the most important thing.
6. Always always tell your children that you love them. That nothing that happened between their
parents is their fault. That you will always be there for them. Nothing puts a child’s mind more
at ease then knowing they are loved and it was not their fault. Seems like an irrational way of
thinking, but I know this to be true.
So be the best co-parent that you can be. Be respectful of one another. Remember you don’t have the
right to ruin your child’s childhood with your fighting and bickering. Save that for drinks with your
friends. And for the sake of peace and sanity for yourself and your children always be pleasant as you
make the exchange, even if you want to rip each other’s eyes out. Easier said than done, I know, but try anyway.
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