Divorce or separation creates a new family dynamic that every member of the family has to adjust to. This new situation can be especially difficult for children. Thankfully, successful co-parenting can help children adjust to their new situation. Here are five tips to help you successfully co-parent.
- Focus on what you can agree on and the rest will take care of itself over time
It may sound difficult, but it is possible to find something to agree on with your ex when it comes to your children. It does not matter how basic the issue or fact is that you can agree on; it’s just important to find something you agree on and use that as a starting point for conversations about your child. If you can agree on one thing, that can lead to fruitful discussions about other topics. For example, most parents can agree that it’s important for their child to be healthy. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a topic you can agree on with your ex, think of a topic or issue that you know your ex thinks is important. If you can concede his/her point or you don’t feel strongly one way or another about an issue, use that topic or issue as a conversation starter. Once you can build some common ground by agreeing on an issue, you can, over time, work up to discussing more difficult topics and work on resolutions.
- Accept that you can’t control everything when you co-parent
You may hate the amount of screen time your child has when he is at your ex’s house. Unless screen time becomes extremely detrimental to your child’s health, education, or welfare, the amount of screen time your child has is probably not an issue worth fighting over. You will have to accept that your ex will likely run his/her household differently than you will and unless a child’s safety is at issue, you have no say in what happens at your ex’s house. What you can control, however, is what happens at your house and how you react to different situations. You can gain a great deal of peace if you learn to accept what you can and can’t control. If you worry and fret and try to argue with someone over what you can’t control, you will drive yourself crazy and create unnecessary conflict. Continue Reading →