Children count on their parents to make sure they have what they need. That doesn’t change just because the parents decide to divorce. Once the adults make the decision to split up, they have to ensure they’re committed to being a parenting team for the children.
Co-parenting isn’t always going to be easy. There will be bumps in the road as you work with your ex to raise the children. Keeping the co-parenting relationship alive and in good condition can benefit everyone involved.
Start right away
The best thing you can do if you want to make the co-parenting relationship work is to start things out on the right foot. It might be difficult at first because you may be overwhelmed with the emotions of the split; however, it may help for you to remember that even a bad partner can make a good parent. Leave the past alone and focus on what you can do for the children now.
Communicate with each other
You and your ex need to communicate with each other. This ensures messages are relayed as intended. It also provides a chance to correct anything that’s taken the wrong way. All communication should be respectful and related to the children. When an issue becomes contentious, it might be best to take a step back to consider solutions and calm down before you come back to discuss it again.
Remain firm but flexible
You don’t have to let your ex use your willingness to make things work for the kids, but make sure that you’re also remaining flexible enough to do what’s right for the children. For example, constantly having to change weekends is a bit much and you might have to put your foot down about that. But, if your ex needs to trade one weekend with you so the children can see an out-of-town family member who’s coming in for a visit, it would likely be in the kids’ best interests for you to make the change.
Make sure the parenting plan reflects what’s in the child’s best interests. It should be set based on what the kids need right now. Modifications of that plan are possible as the needs of the children change. Be sure you understand the current plan so you can comply with your responsibilities.