A divorce is a difficult experience for all parties, but it is especially difficult for children. Many parents main focus during a divorce is to minimize the effects of a divorce on their children. A child’s life will obviously change after their parent’s divorce. However, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the effects on their children. While there may be some bad blood, it is important to set that aside and work on a co-parenting plan for your children, together. This article will outline some tips for co-parenting after a divorce.
Co-Parenting Tip 1: Control Your Emotions
It is important for your children that you and your spouse cooperate. This likely means that you will have to set aside the inevitable emotions that come with a divorce. Anger, resentment, and hurt can make a co-parenting situation more difficult than it already is.
Setting aside your emotions may be more difficult than it sounds. However, co-parenting isn’t about your feelings toward your spouse. It is about giving your children a happy and stable life after your divorce.
- Get Your Feelings Out Elsewhere: Vent to a friend, therapist, or a member of your religious community. Finding an outlet for your emotions can save your children and former spouse more pain and heartache.
- Don’t Put Your Children in the Middle: Avoid using your children as messengers. Also, you should resist the urge to badmouth your ex in front of your children. They will not understand why you are speaking that way about their mom or dad. After all, they still love you both even if you don’t still love each other. You may end up making your child feel bad for the relationship they have with your ex.
- Remember It’s Always About the Kids: When you feel your anger flaring up remember what your main focus is, your children.
Co-Parenting Tip 2: Communication
It is important to still communicate with your ex-spouse. You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to but speaking about your children can help your situation. Having an open line of communication may be difficult at first but can be extremely useful. It will take practice to communicate without conflict.
- Maintain a Business-Like Tone: Speak with your spouse like you would with a business colleague or customer. Be cordial, concise, and to the point. This approach could keep a conversation about your children from devolving into a fight.
- Listen: Don’t just wait for your turn to respond, actually listen to what you former spouse is saying. Just because you listen to what they say doesn’t mean that you agree with everything they say it means that you are open to their opinion.
- Focus the Conversation on the Kids: If you feel yourself straying from the topic, respectfully remove yourself from the conversation. Keep the conversation focused on the children.
Co-Parenting Tip 3: Be a Team
It will be difficult at first to act as a team especially after a messy divorce. Obviously, the two of you will have differences when it comes to raising your children. However, it is important to find common ground on most issues and stick to it. This way your children know what the expectations of them are no matter which home they are in.
- Rules: The rules at both houses won’t be identical. While you won’t agree on everything, it is important to come to an agreement about a set of ground rules for both houses. This will not only set you children up for success, but it will also eliminate them trying to get away with things by saying that they can do it while at your ex’s house.
- Schedule: A consistent schedule no matter where they are can greatly help your children. Set times for homework, tv, and bed can reduce the impact of dividing time between two houses.
- Decisions: Make important decisions together. Whether they are decisions about medical needs, school, or extracurricular activities. Making decisions together can prevent further resentment.
- Compromise: Finding a compromise can make your life easier. In life, you never get your way 100% of the time, and this won’t be any different in a co-parenting situation. Finding a compromise will be difficult at times, but it is imperative.
While it may be difficult at first, your children’s future depends on how well you and your spouse co-parent. Don’t let your messy divorce effect your children more than it already has. While Elisha Morris may not be able to help with your co-parenting, she can help make sure your divorce causes as little stress as possible. If you are thinking about getting a divorce contact Rhode Island divorce attorney, Elisha Morris immediately. She can help you through one of the most difficult times in your life.