Going through a divorce and figuring out how to share custody of your children can be complicated for the whole family. During a short time, everyone has to learn new systems for how the family will work on a day-to-day basis.
While you and your ex may both want what is best for your children, there will likely be disagreements on what “best” means and what method you should use to get there. You may also find that you or your ex unintentionally allow your children to get in the middle of your disagreements.
Here are a few tips for making a smoother transition into co-parenting.
Agree to kindness
Your marriage did not work out the way you planned. While divorce solves the difficulties you faced as a couple, you still need to work together to parent your children.
Regardless of the disagreements you have with your spouse; it is essential to remember that your ex is still your children’s parent. Your child should have the opportunity to develop their own opinions of both parents without your frustrations.
As you start the co-parenting chapter of your lives, agree with yourself and your children that you will keep your children out of your frustrations with your ex.
Knowing when to fight
As a co-parent, there is a delicate balance between choosing your battles and becoming a doormat. There will be issues worth digging your heels in, but others that are not worth your physical or mental energy.
When there is a disagreement, permit yourself to get some space to consider how you feel about the situation. Often, disputes can seem more intense (and important) at the moment. Ask for time to consider the options rather than getting caught in the moment. Once you have taken the time you need to evaluate your perspective, you may be able to see your goals for the situation more clearly.
Coparenting will come with challenges. You, your ex and your children will likely find that you need to be flexible or make changes as your wants and needs shift.