Five Tips for Co-Parenting After Divorce

Co-parenting after divorce may be one of the hardest challenges you will face. This is especially true if you want to minimize the negative effects of divorce on your children.

Although co-parenting after divorce might seem daunting, you and your ex-spouse can provide a positive environment for your children. A cohesive parenting plan can help both of you work together. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Tip #1: Focus on Your Children

When creating a co-parenting plan, remember to place your focus on the welfare of your children. This is not the time to deal with unresolved issues stemming from your divorce.

Your children need stability to thrive. Your ability to focus on your children’s needs is paramount. If your ex-spouse has trouble staying on track, gently push the conversation back onto the correct topic.

Tip #2: Work on Communication

Communication is the best way to ensure a happy future and to minimize the effects of the divorce on your children. If you struggle to communicate with your ex-spouse, take a professional approach to the problem.

Treat each discussion as if you were talking to a colleague at work. The focus of each discussion should always center around your children. In addition to scheduling activities, you should discuss other important issues related to your children, such as grades and problems with friends.

Tip #3: Keep Your Emotions at Bay

Venting to your children about their other parent is an inappropriate way to deal with your feelings. Children aren’t old enough to understand what you’re going through and can’t offer you any useful advice. Your venting sessions may also have negative consequences on the relationships between your children and their other parent. If you need someone to talk to, consider speaking to a friend, therapist or loved one.

Tip #4: Maintain Consistency Between Two Homes

This is especially true if you and your ex-spouse share joint custody of young children. The younger the child, the more they may struggle to adjust to the differences between two homes.

However, if you can maintain similar routines at each home, your children will feel more secure and stable. For example, maintaining a similar meal schedule can encourage stability. If your children are older, ask for their input. This will help shape the decisions you and your former spouse make about routines.

Tip #5: Make Major Decisions as a Team

Major decisions can range from medical issues to dealing with a bully at school. These decisions should be made together as a team with your child’s best interests at heart.

Maintaining a respectful discourse can help you and your ex-spouse reach a decision. If you need extra help dealing with these issues, don’t be afraid to bring another individual into the discussion.

Co-parenting after divorce will present many challenges. Treating your ex-spouse with respect and focusing on your children as a team can help you overcome some of the biggest challenges of parenting.

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