Divorce is mentally and emotionally challenging, especially when there are children involved. Once you have finalized your divorce and have your custody order in place, you might think the hard part is over.
Although you are now living a separate life from your former spouse, if you two share children, you are going to be a part of each other’s lives, at least until your children are grown. This means you will need to learn how to co-parent.
Stay focused on your children’s best interests
The most important thing to remember is that your children’s stability and safety come first. You and your spouse are adults, and you should act that way.
There can be lingering feelings from your divorce, such as anger, hurt or resentment. Find healthy ways to deal with those emotions but put them aside when it comes to co-parenting.
When children see their parents fighting or getting upset at each other, it can cause them mental distress and anxiety. Conversely, children who see their parents working together and getting along, even after a divorce, typically have better mental health and stability.
Pick the best communication method
You and your co-parent will have many decisions to make about your children over the years and this requires good communication.
Take advantage of all the different ways there are to communicate today and pick one that works best for you. In-person or even telephone conversations might be too much, so communicating only through text message or a parenting app could be best.
Make sure to keep the conversations focused on your children. Do not use them to vent your feelings about the divorce or criticize your different parenting styles.
Know when to listen
When issues come up, listen to your co-parent and do not minimize their concerns. It can help to think of your co-parenting relationship as a working relationship and act professionally.
These are just some tips that can help you as you begin your new life as a co-parent. Challenges can arise at times, and when they do, it can help to get professional advice.