Divorce can be a challenging time for parents, particularly when it comes to co-parenting. It's important for parents to be able to put aside their differences and work together for the benefit of their children. Here are three tips to help you successfully co-parent during and after divorce:
Communicate effectively. Communication is key to a successful co-parenting relationship. It's important to be clear about your expectations, to listen actively to each other, and to find respectful ways to resolve disagreements. Try not to bring up the past and to keep your discussions focused on your children. Your relationship with your soon-to-be-ex has changed from one where you were connected on an emotional level to a relationship that's more like colleagues or co-workers. It can also be helpful to set aside specific times for communication, such as weekly check-ins or regular meetings to discuss important parenting issues.
Be consistent. Consistency is critical to successful co-parenting. When children have the same rules and routines in both households, they feel more secure and stable. Consistency also helps parents to avoid misunderstandings and disputes. Try to agree on important issues such as bedtimes, meal times, and homework routines, and stick to them as much as possible.
Focus on your children's needs. The most important thing is to put your children's needs first. When making decisions about your children, consider what's in their best interests, rather than what's easiest for you or your ex. It may not be easy to be together for your child’s birthday or at their school events, but you need to put your feelings aside for the moment and treat each other with respect. This can be especially challenging during the divorce process, when emotions may be running high. However, it will be good for your children in the long term. Plus it will get easier when you’re not in the middle of the divorce process and time has gone by.
If you're struggling with co-parenting during a divorce, consider reaching out for help. For over 20 years I’ve helped parents create the environment they need to foster healthy communication and well-adjusted children and I’d love to help you!
Co-parenting during a divorce can be challenging, but with effective communication, consistency, and a focus on your children's needs, it can be a positive experience for both parents and children. If you need help, don't hesitate to reach out for support!
Jill Barnett Kaufman is a Divorce Coach, Therapist, Parent Educator and Divorce Mediator. She is an experienced professional who helps clients discover new ways to resolve a variety of challenges when considering divorce, starting the process of divorce or are already divorced.