Co-parenting requires you to be empathetic and patient with your ex, which is easier said than done. Break ups are fraught with emotion, even when you can choose to never see your ex again. When children are involved, you have to accept that you will have to work with your ex to ensure that your child gets the best parenting possible. While it is stressful, there are steps you can take to make it go smoother.
Communicating With Your Ex
One of the most difficult parts of co-parenting is effective communication with your ex. An essential element to co-parenting is your mutual commitment to putting your baggage aside and letting go of the past for the good of your child. It is important that you communicate directly with your ex; do not treat your child as a messenger. If you have difficulty communicating agreeably with your ex, consider a different approach. For example, you may find it easier to compose cordial emails than to talk with your ex over the phone. It may help to think of your ex as a business associate. Approach your interactions with the same level of respect and distance. If you have a mindset devoted to cooperation and putting your child’s needs before your own, it will be easier to co-parent. If you need divorce counseling in order to work out how to best communicate with your ex, Kentlands Psychotherapy in Gaithersburg, MD can help.
Just as you must learn how to communicate with each other as exes, you will have to learn how to parent together as well. Children need consistency and routine, which is difficult when they are regularly switching between households. Therefore, it is your job as parents to provide that consistency. Rules may not be exactly the same, but at the very least, rules surrounding homework, bedtime, and curfew should be consistent. You should also have similar consequences for broken rules, even if they occur in your ex’s household. Your goal is to give your child the boundaries and support system they need in order to flourish; by working with your ex, this will be a lot easier to accomplish.
Co-parenting is not simple, but you can take steps to make it a lot easier on yourself, your ex, and your child. When you need divorce counseling, Kentlands Psychotherapy in Gaithersburg can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.