You may think co parenting is impossible (especially if you hate your ex), but it can be much simpler than it sounds. With a lot of effort and a lot of “overlooking” along with the below tips, you too can co parent in the best way to benefit your children.
• Talk it through with your ex, have it all in the open – when it comes to your child, it’s always best to talk everything through with your ex. This may not sound like fun, but it’s best for your child. Update each other regularly about yourselves; ensuring that your child doesn’t feel like he has to inform you of each other.
• Monitor your arguments and your insults – it’s natural that you have bad feelings about you ex. But it’s not natural to bad mouth them in front of your children, or argue with them in the presence of your children. If you have to argue, make sure the children are not within hearing distance.
• No occasion is small to your child – every moment of your child’s life should be important to both of you. This is regardless to whether it’s important school programs or their bi-weekly practice. One thing important to remember is to maintain continuity. If your child is used to going for practice games with your ex (from before the divorce), allow them to continue to do so. This may not appear equal or fair (especially if you have to sacrifice your time with your children) but it’s the right thing to do.
• Instead of excuses, look for ways to make up for lost time and moments – how ever much you try, there’s always going to be moments in which you’ll have to disappoint your child by not being around. Instead of simply giving an excuse, try to make up for it. Try working it out with your ex. If there’s a movie or circus shows your child really wants to watch, and you can’t make it on the day, consider asking your ex to take them; for which you’d pay for everything. At the very least, even if they couldn’t meet you, they didn’t have to miss out on their great entertainment.
• Have common rules for both households – don’t make the mistake of having different rules in either household. Openly talk to your ex and make common rules that your children will have to follow at both households. This give them normalcy in both homes.
• Have many boring days – if you’re only getting the weekends with your child, no doubt you’d want to do something interesting during the time you are together. But though it may be fun for your child in the beginning, it will wear out very fast. Have many boring days at home; make everything ordinary. Keep the outings and excitements for special days.
• Don’t stress if your children’s belonging move from house to house – you might be a little upset about your child carrying his toys or belongings that you bought for him (to use at your home) to your ex’s place, but this is something best overlooked. Though it may irritate you, it gives them a stronger sense of security and belonging to be able to do so…