Co-parenting is essential when it comes to raising an emotionally healthy child. If two people can't get along, they need to figure it out for the child(ren)... So much easier to say than to do! Everything works out great as long as no one is jealous, resentful, angry about one thing or another and everyone is emotionally and mentally able to handle it. Unfortunately, two people usually aren't together because they don't see eye-to-eye, they likely have different parenting-styles, values, beliefs or general ideas about what is acceptable and what is not. I c0-parented successfully for 12 years until we weren't able to do it anymore.
As kids get older, things can become more complicated like school choices, dating issues, religion, discipline, etc. If you are co-parenting for a long period of time like we were, dynamics may change that can cause issues; my ex-husband got divorced from his wife who was great with my daughter and had 2 more children with a woman that was not, while our daughter was turning into a teenager! This caused the beginning of the end of our successful co-parenting. I was more concerned with her feelings and struggles than co-parenting successfully.
Co-parenting is possible if both parties are committed to it an focused on the child(ren)'s well-being. But because we're all human, our own selfish agendas and emotions may take over. Below are some ways we were able to co-parent successfully for so long.
1. Empathy-I made more money than my ex, so I didn't request financial support because I understood how hard things were already for him. If you can make things a little easier emotionally for your ex, do it...it will make things better for the children when they are with them.
2. Flexibility - My court order stated that we shared holidays; I didn't celebrate them, so I allowed him to have her every holiday. I always allowed her to attend her siblings' functions. If I had something planned, he wouldn't hesitate to allow her to be with me.
3.Proximity - We lived in proximity of one another purposely so we both could get her to school and make it to functions easily.
6.Don't talk negatively about the other parent, if possible, don't talk about them at all because a conversation can quickly turn.
7. Issues -Address issues immediately and directly. It may be easier to talk with your children about an issue, especially when they are teenagers, but whenever possible, deal with the other parent directly.
8. Exchange - When kids are small, the outcome of the physical exchange can impact the way the kid sees and deals with the new situation. Don't make a big deal, cry, or get over emotional during the transition. Try not to say you will miss them too much or hold on to them too tightly, yes it may be scary, but your anxiety will be detected.
9.Be prepared - You're not together for a reason and because you are divorced, doesn't mean you don't have to deal with the issues that caused the divorce. If he was irresponsible, he likely will continue to be irresponsible. If she was arrogant or rude, she will not have changed after the divorce. Be prepared to deal with this, which means you may have to overlook it.
10. Rejuvenate - Take the time your kids are away to catch-up, rejuvenate, get a hobby, start a business...something to improve your well-being. I started my business and worked on it only when my daughter was away and her and I traveled a lot with the extra money I made from it.
Leave your comments below...What are some things you did in order to keep your co-parenting healthy and working successful?