How to Co-Parent More Effectively

For most parents, after the divorce is over, the most challenging aspect of their post-divorce relationship is going to be co-parenting. While the marriage may have ended, there are many new challenges that are introduced to the relationship and need to be handled appropriately for the good of the children. Fortunately, there are many proven things that can be done to help co-parent more effectively. While every situation is unique, the following strategies may be very helpful.

Follow the Parenting Agreement

The parenting agreement will be made during the divorce process, and then approved by the courts. In the initial months after a divorce, it is best to follow the parenting agreement closely to establish a good routine. Once the routine is in place, you can begin being more flexible on things like trading days, or making other adjustments as needed. As long as the parenting plan is in place, however, it is good to remember that it is the standard. If either party wants to stick with what it says on a particular issue, that is what will happen. This can help to avoid many arguments or other issues.

Don’t “Interrogate” Your Child

It can be tempting to ask your child or children a lot of questions when they are returning from being with your ex. While it is good to show interest, don’t fall for the temptation of trying to figure out every little thing that is happening. Too many questions, or asking the wrong questions, can make your child feel bad for having a good time while with their other parent, and that should never be the case.

Encourage Your Child to Have a Positive Relationship with Your Ex

Building off of the previous tip, do everything you can to encourage your children to have a positive relationship with your ex. Always remember that while you are divorced, your children are not. They have a right to a strong and healthy relationship with both parents. Unless there is abuse or other extreme issues, you should always speak positively of the other parent around the kids, and do whatever you can to minimize any conflict.

Take Care of Yourself Too

After a divorce, most parents will try to put their children first in everything they do. While this is, of course, a good thing, it is also important to take care of yourself. By taking the time needed to take care of yourself physically and emotionally, you will be able to better care for your children. Make sure you are eating right, exercising, and addressing the many emotional issues that you will need to work through after your divorce.

Open Communication

Finally, make sure you have open communication with your ex when it comes to the children. Talking to them about behavior issues, the need to trade days, and any other issues is going to be necessary for many years to come. By making sure you have open communication, co-parenting is going to be much easier on you, and your kids.