In some divorces, both parties are able to come to a place of understanding for the better of their children. However, sometimes, co-parenting your kids can be a nightmare! When co-parenting is anything but easy, here are 10 steps to follow.
Change your expectations
We all have an expectation of what it will be like co-parenting a child. However, this rarely goes as planned. Your ex won’t want to do everything you will and vice versa. Sometimes you will have to change your expectations and do the best you can.
Remember that you are giving your child the gift of time
Co-parenting exists so that both parents have the opportunity to be in the child’s life. Remember that you are giving your child the gift of time with that parent, and that time is valuable to them even if it isn’t to you.
Accept the things you cannot change
Some people will never change and some things won’t either. You aren’t with your ex anymore and that means that you can’t control their lives. Unless your child is going to be in a dangerous or harmful situation, then learn to accept the things you are unable to change.
Give yourself and them grace
We all have bad days or say things we don’t mean. Give your child’s father grace and try to be understanding. It’s also okay to give yourself grace and understanding too.
Make rules for communication
You don’t have to stay in contact all the time, especially if you can’t stop fighting. Establish communication rules and even rules for when your child is present.
Boundaries can be down to when or when not to say certain things in front of your child, or even who is allowed to be around them. If you have a concern be vocal about it and establish boundaries you both can agree on.
Avoid being together if possible
If you can’t stand to be around each other, it might be better for your child to not be together at all. Soccer games and other situations don’t require you to be next to each other while you’re there. However, for situations such as holidays or birthdays, you will need to come up with some other arrangement.
Encourage your child to talk through things
Your child will be feeling a lot of emotions, especially if they know you are fighting with your ex. Talk with them and encourage your child to be open about how they’re feeling.
Don’t take things personally
Very rarely will your spouse try to intentionally judge or attack you. A lot of meaningless threats and bad words may come across the table, but they don’t always mean it. If it’s not serious, then try to not take things personally.
Get a third party perspective
If everything else fails, it may be time to introduce some help. Go to family therapy or even a divorce counselor. Sometimes a third party can help with disagreements you can’t work through yourselves.
Co-parenting children isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be an awful experience. Use these steps to help make these nightmare times less frequent, and remember to give others grace.
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