Divorce can be a healthy solution to a relationship that is no longer compatible. However, getting a divorce does not mean you and your ex stop working together.
Part of adapting (and helping your children to adapt) to divorce is learning new ways to support your children from two separate households. Your children will still need to look to both parents for structure and support.
Here are three tips for working together as you learn to navigate your co-parenting relationship.
Believing the best
You and your ex love your children and want the best for them. Often the difficulty comes with how you each demonstrate your love and support for your children.
It seems the more challenging the divorce, the more difficult it is to believe your ex has good intentions. It can often seem like they are intentionally doing the opposite of what you consider best for the children.
While there are cases where one spouse will use the kids to upset the other, most parents have good intentions. When you need to talk about a disagreement in parenting decisions, try to start by understanding your spouse’s positive intentions.
As you and your ex try to manage your children between two households, there will be times when you disagree. As you approach each disagreement, it is essential to consider whether this is a different parenting style or causes a genuine conflict in what is best for the children.
When it is time to talk about differences in your parenting approaches, know where you are willing to compromise and when you need to stand your ground. Keep in mind, there will be times when you both need to make compromises.
Keep kids out
Your relationship with your children needs to be separate from the challenges you have with your ex. The children should not be messengers or counselors for you and your ex. Your children’s relationship with their other parent needs to be independent of your opinion of them.
When you and your ex are willing to work together to parent your children, it can make your relationship less stressful and help your children adapt to the changes in their world.