Something that is on my mind a lot and something that comes up quite frequently in my world is co-parenting.
When I first divorced I knew I didn't want to have the "normal" situation where both parties hated each other and were always at each other's throats every chance they got. I'm not that way in any other relationship and I didn't want it to be that way in this one either. I think it's important that even though your marriage didn't work, your co-parenting can. A lot of people seem to forget that it's not about you anymore, it's about your children. It doesn't matter how hurt you are or how badly you just want to throw something at your ex's face. Your kids are what matters and their well being comes first. Do I need to repeat that??
So when you don't put your differences aside your child/children can sense that. They know it when you don't like each other. It's important to always try and be together in the things that matter to your children. Events, school functions, sports, activities, etc. Seeing that both of their parents can be around each other in a positive way reassures them that although we don't live together anymore, we're still working together to make sure they're OK.
Here are a few tips that have helped make co-parenting much easier:
- Keep the lines of communication open.
- Avoid throwing the past into conversations. The past is there for a reason. Move on and get on with your life.
- Always provide a united front to the important people in your child(s) life. Teachers, Coaches, Parents of your child's good friends. Don't try to prove that you're the better parent.
By working with your former spouse you are showing your kids more than you can just get along. You're showing them how to be mature adults about things and how to be the bigger person. They will remember this later on in life and be grateful that you worked hard to stay united through everything and providing them with a safety net.
It's a lot harder when both of you aren't on the same page. I can't stress enough how important it is to understand these things together. You'll always be two different people and have two different styles of parenting but if your ex just can't seem to get there with you then just remember you can't change him/her but you can change yourself and do what is right on your end.
Do you have any tips to add to the list for co-parenting? How do you make co-parenting work?