Let’s face it – divorce is a time-consuming, emotionally draining, and costly process. It’s an indelible lifetime decision with far-reaching consequences to partners and their children. However, in some instances, divorce is a regrettable necessity and unavoidable.
Do you know there were more than 700000 divorce cases in the US in 2019? Also, by the age of 9, more than one in five kids will experience a parent breakup. So, what becomes of a child of divorce?
If you have children, co-parenting is necessary to raise the children. But co-parenting is not plain sailing. You’ll need to co-parent to raise loving, stable, and healthy children while living separately.
While it’s difficult, many happy divorced parents and adult children can attest that co-parenting is doable. You can easily navigate the challenging process with the right tips, such as a coparenting app. This helps to achieve a happy and balanced upbringing while minimizing the adverse effects of divorce on your kids
Are you at your wit’s end wondering how co-parenting will work? Worry no more; here are crucial tips to help you successfully co-parent a child of divorce.
Regardless of the issues that led to divorce, you have to put your children’s well-being first at all times. Know that the children are also traumatized by the divorce, and this can negatively impact their future lives. Co-parenting lays the foundation for determining how successful and healthy children’s relationships will be.
Putting your kids on the front can be hard, especially if the divorce is messy. However, you need to prioritize the security and stability of your children put your differences beside you. It implies you ought to go the extra mile, even if it’s working with a family therapist.
This can help reverse messy and charged situations to peaceful and collaborative co-parenting. If past marital problems start taking over co-parenting, remind yourself you need to focus on your children.
Similar to any other relationship, communication is key in co-parenting. As a rule of thumb, it’s imperative to find an effective communication strategy.
But how can you achieve this when ineffective communication led to divorce?
If the breakup resulted from ineffective communication, it’s not easy to change after divorce; in fact, it can be worse. But it doesn’t have to be; change your mindset first. The goal is to achieve consistent, purposeful, and peaceful communication with your co-parent.
Think about the purpose of your communication being your child’s wellbeing. To enhance communication in co-parenting, understand your own limitations and strengths. Prior to reaching out to your co-parent, always take a moment to think about how your action will affect your child.
Communicating effectively doesn’t necessarily mean face-to-face communication is a must. Contacting via email, calls, or text can be effective in most conversations. Here, the aim is to determine the most suitable conflict-free communication for you.
At all times, make it your ultimate goal to carry yourself with dignity. Make your child the prime focus of every discussion you have with your ex-partner.
If necessary, work with a therapist to make sure your communication gets across in the right way.
Here are several methods to start and maintain effective communication with your ex-partner;
When interacting with your co-parent, use a business-like tone. Think of your relationship as a business partnership with your kid’s wellbeing being the business. At all times, communicate with your ex-partner like they are a colleague.
Write or speak to them with cordiality, neutrality, and respect.
To avoid misinterpretation of statements, frame your communication as a request. For instance, rather than ‘can you….’ try using ‘would you be willing to…?’
To achieve effective communication, both parties must listen to one another. Even when disagreeing, it doesn’t have to be a conflict between the two of you. Show them you understand their opinion but don’t agree and give your reasons.
When interacting with your ex-partner, it’s easy for anger emotions to manifest. This can even be worse if the ex-partner keeps pushing the buttons.
But you don’t have to react to everything they say or do. This interaction is likely to last decades, and you don’t have to live fighting.
A perfect co-parenting scenario could be where both partners agree. They are consistent with rules regarding discipline and behavior.
But can this really be when your parenting styles are different? Absolutely not, especially when you had parenting differences even before separating.
You don’t have to debate about everything and anything concerning your kid. You can trust each other to micromanage the daily parenting decisions.
However, be assured everyone is responsible and committed to bringing up the kid in the best way.
This can really help to avoid little and unnecessary conflicts that would paint the bigger picture.
However, every party must be involved in making big decisions. These include children of divorce schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing.
If you can’t agree on this major decision, you might want to seek a mediator or counselor’s help.
Have you heard of a co-parenting app yet? No, read more to find out.
A co-parenting app is a digital smartphone application developed with the needs of co-parents in mind. They are designed to help co-parents communicate effectively and easily to avoid conflicts.
In co-parenting, it’s easy to misinterpret a text, forget important dates, or lose track of an important email. These are some of the causes of conflicts in a co-parenting relationship. To avoid these, you need a co-parenting app.
Most co-parenting apps come with a feature allowing you to list all your kid’s child care, medical providers, and education. Also, you can list different contact information necessary for proper child-rearing. This information will be available to both co-parents without them having to communicate directly.
In addition, a co-parenting app allows you to keep a permanent record of all communication between you and your ex. In case of a dispute, you can download and print these communication records as evidence.
There are multiple co-parenting apps today, and rest assured to find one to make your co-parenting journey easy.
While you’ve got a beef with your ex, don’t speak negatively about them before your kids. Remember, little ears can hear too. Also, if you need to vent frustrations about your ex, talk to your adult friends, parents, or better, a therapist.
While it might feel justifiable, don’t disparage your co-parent in front of the kids, regardless of the reason. Also, you deserve the same amount of respect.
Remember, your kids will get a crystal-clear picture of their parents when they are adults. If your ex is a bad person, once an adult, the children will get their own realization without you saying anything.
To cool down and let the frustrations go, talk badly about your co-parent to adults.
It’s understandable; forgiving your ex is not on your to-do plans. But do you know forgiveness is powerful, and it takes a strong person to forgive? You do not forgive to get back together but heal and present a strong lesson to your children.
They say times heals everything, and surely it does. As time pass, work on forgiving yourself and your ex for the failed relationship. It comes with healing, and you can improve your quality of life, thus offering your children the best support.
To keep you going, focus on the good side of your ex-partner. Show your kid’s the other partner is remains valuable even after separation. Highlight the strengths of your co-parent in the presence of your children.
For instance, “Your daddy has always been a good dancer; he can teach you great moves!” Or “Your mommy is a great cook, isn’t she?” Such statements help the children feel safe, and they can also speak positively about both parents even in their absence.
Also, remember staying positive isn’t just important for your kids; it benefits you too. By maintaining a positive outlook, you also improve your own well-being and overall health.
When starting the co-parenting journey, empathy won’t be a virtue to any of you. However, depending on your separation reasons, this can remain so.
However, at all times, you want to show empathy to your children.
Before doing or saying anything, think about the perception of your kids.
Before reaching out to your co-parent on the phone to vent about child support, think about your kid. Put yourself in their shoes listening to such conversation.
Contemplating how they will perceive that conversation and react is enough to make you stop making the call. If your child is close, use other communication means where they don’t have to hear any conflict ensuing.
To take care of your children, you must be in the right physical, emotional and mental health, right? This is why you must also take some time each day for self-care. This could vary depending on your interests, needs, and lifestyle.
You may consider a positive affirmation, exercising, going for a massage, or even taking a nature walk. Constantly remind yourself that you are important and valuable and a good parent. Even with the current situation, remain positive and don’t give up on yourself.
Being in great shape also means you can actively integrate with your parenting plan.
You won’t remain single forever, right? But what happens when you and your ex get into new relationships? What will befall the kids and your co-parenting roles?
It’s important to discuss the roles of new partners in raising your children.
It’s recommendable to involve a new partner in making children-related decisions once they have been embedded in the family structure. Also, a new partner should not become a representative to communicate with your ex on matters related to children.
For the best interest of your kids, discuss how new partners can contribute to child-rearing decisions. If you agree to involve them, ensure they are committed to keeping your children’s wellbeing at the forefront.
Once you set your co-parenting schedule, don’t tinker with it. Parenting arrangements can help organize your time and make the children feel secure and loved. You’ll be dishonoring your kid if you modify the schedule often or cancel your parenting time.
Children should feel they can count on their parents being available to them at all times. Don’t dodge your parenting time thinking you are teaching the kid to be flexible. They might get it the wrong way, and this might make them think you don’t love them.
In case of unavoidable situations, communicate and negotiate with a co-parent to know the best course of action. Even in co-parenting, your child needs structure and predictability.
Depending on their age, your children may not be enlightened to understand exactly what’s going on. They might ask questions like,” Why doesn’t daddy live with us anymore?” Regardless of why you are not together, portray a positive picture of your former spouse to the kids.
You don’t have to come open about everything that happened between you. Ask these questions with your children in mind and not the hate or anger towards the partner. Tell them you disagreed and separated, but you will always work together to ensure the kids get the best
Co-parenting is not easy but necessary for a happy and healthy upbringing of your children. Knowing the key tips and tricks can help when you are getting started or seeking to improve your co-parenting journey. Also, find other solutions that could help, such as a coparenting app.
The above co-parenting tips are invaluable when raising a child of divorce.
Are you looking to better co-parenting after divorce? At 2houses, we got you covered. We help separated parents to communicate and become organized for their children’s well-being.
Contact us today to improve your co-parenting journey.
Create a parenting schedule