Divorce may be the best solution to a struggling marriage, allowing both spouses to go their separate ways according to their individual needs. When you have minor children, however, your divorce might not be as simple as you may want it to be. Being a divorced parent means you and your ex-spouse will likely have to continue interacting and working together as co-parents.
As difficult as it can be to create an effective co-parenting plan with someone you are trying to build a separate life from, it is important to center your efforts around your child's well-being. Consider the following tips to help overcome any tense emotions towards your co-parent to provide the best possible upbringing for your children:
- Separate any feelings towards your co-parent from your children - Remember that any negative feelings you have towards your co-parent have nothing to do with how you should interact with your children. Resist any urge to rant to them. Your children have the right to build close relationships with both parents, and any bitter feelings you have towards your co-parent should not affect their perception.
- Work on your communication with your co-parent - You do not have to be best friends with your co-parent, although it is important to have amicable communication. Consider establishing a business-like relationship between you and your co-parent, imagining yourselves on a team where the shared goal is to protect the best interests of your children. This may help you resist any temptation to get caught up with personal feelings towards each other.
- Help your children transition smoothly between homes - Your children will likely be traveling back and forth between you and your co-parent's homes. Consider making the effort to drop your children off at your co-parent's home whenever possible, rather than waiting for him or her to come pick them up. This can help eliminate any feelings of your children being "taken away" from one parent while encouraging a sense of collaboration between family members.
Remember the purpose of your co-parenting plan
While building a strong co-parenting relationship may be easier said than done, considering these tips may help ease the journey. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that your co-parenting relationship should be based on protecting the interests of your children above anything else.