When two people get married and have children, they hope to live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Every year, thousands of marriages end in divorce, meaning children borne in such marriages experience a breakdown of the family situation they know.
Divorce is never easy for everyone involved. When parents go their separate ways, children can become anxious about how things will change. However, allowing children to maintain a quality relationship with both parents through co-parenting can help reassure them.
Here are some ways to make co-parenting work for everyone involved.
Make communication as open as possible
It is important that you keep your co-parent informed of important developments, schedules and events that might affect the child or the existing parenting arrangement. While it may be challenging, be sure to make your ex aware of any changes in your life and circumstances that may affect your parental roles. As a rule, never make your child the primary point of contact or source of information.
Make consistent rules
Children do better when there is consistency, routine and structure. Consider keeping rules regarding mealtimes, bedtimes, homework and chores the same in both homes. This is key to creating a sense of stability and predictability for the kids. No matter where the kids are, they should know that certain rules will be enforced.
Talk positively about your ex
Badmouthing your ex to your children can be detrimental in many ways. First, it can hurt your chances of getting the custody outcome your want. And second, it can hurt the kids’ relationship with the other parent and with you. Remember, your kids might believe what you tell them about your ex. Even if you are mad at your ex, it is important to remember that they are still your kids’ parent.
Parenting after divorce can be stressful. However, once you work out a co-parenting strategy that works for everyone, it will make life much easier and your kids will live a much happier life.