Did you go through a divorce in which you had a kid with your ex-partner? Are you in need of co-parenting strategies to help your child grow up well despite the separation? Below is a list of 10 useful co-parenting tips for ex-spouses after a divorce.
In 2017, the US ranked as the fifth country in the world with the highest divorce rates. It had a 46% divorce rate, which means almost half the population experienced a divorce. The US comes after Luxembourg, Spain, France, and Russia.
With almost half of the country experiencing a divorce, there are bound to be casualties. Often, those casualties are the kids of the divorcees. For divorced parents with children, here’s a guide on how to co-parent your child with your ex-spouse.
1. Make Your Children Feel Loved and Protected
This is always the first step in how to co-parent or to act like a normal, healthy parent. Be there for your kids, even if your ex won’t be. Make sure your children still know that you love them, even if you don’t love your ex anymore.
If you look at child psychology, you’ll learn that most kids blame themselves for a divorce. This is also a time when they’ll feel insecure and unloved. As a co-parent, show your child that this is untrue and that you and your partner still love them.
Show your kids that you’re still invested in their future and their interests. Tell them, hold your kids, treat them to their favorite place, and do other things that show your love. Help them understand that they are not the problem and aren’t to blame themselves, even if they don’t say it.
2. Always Focus on Your Children’s Interests First
This is one of the more no-brainer co-parenting tips. However, a lot of people forget this once they get divorced. Some people see themselves as free again, even from the responsibility of being a parent.
Remember, being a parent is a lifelong thing. Kids need both of their parents to work together to provide for their needs and the life they deserve. This includes emotional, physical, financial, and educational support.
When you speak with your ex, make the child’s interests a priority. Try to get past your marital issues whenever they come up and focus on the topic. Work with a family therapist if you need to.
You know your child better than anybody else, like most parents. If you sense that your child is feeling down, don’t be afraid to ask why. You’ll likely get some useful insight into what you’re doing wrong that’s harming your child.
3. Continue to See Your Ex-Partner as Your Kid’s Other Parent
Even if you have your differences, show your children that you respect your ex-partner.
Remember, your kid still sees your ex as their mom or dad. There’s no reason for you to not think that, even if you don’t feel the same way about him or her.
That means that you must avoid badmouthing your ex and control your emotions around him or her. If you still feel hurt and angered when you see your ex, don’t show it when your kid is around. When you call your child’s other parent names, you’re also calling your child that.
Controlling your temper and emotions will later lead to a good working relationship between you.
When divorcees can still work together and be cordial to each other, it’s ideal for the child’s development. It also shows how mature you are.
4. Learn to Work With Your Ex-Spouse
Compromise is the keyword when you are co-parenting. If you weren’t flexible in the marriage, you need to learn to be flexible after for your kid’s sake. Learn to listen to and/or learn to speak up.
When you talk about your kid’s interests, don’t try to dominate the conversation. Don’t use the “I’m the child’s mother/father” line. Remember, your ex is also your child’s parent, and no role is more superior to the other.
If you can’t forgive your ex yet, you don’t have to. However, don’t be so rigid with child support that your child will suffer from it. Click the link if you have any questions about child support.
5. Stay Hopeful and Positive
The best way to learn how to handle custody after a divorce is to be hopeful and positive.
Focus on the positive effects of the divorce rather than its negative consequences. For example, kids will learn to become resilient and adaptable.
They may also become more self-sufficient early on. Children will also see that marriage isn’t something to take for granted. The most important lesson a child will pick up from a divorce is to be empathetic to others.
Yet, you must also remember that sometimes, you have to address the negative sides of it. Try your best to fix any negative effects of the divorce. It may take years, a lot of effort, and both of you to work through it, but it’ll be worth it.
6. Provide Stability and Consistency
The CDC says that the divorce rate for 45 reporting states and Washington D.C. is 2.9 per 1,000 population. Each divorcee and pair of divorcees have unique house rules. However, you don’t want your and your partner’s house rules to be too different.
One of the most useful tips for divorced parents for a successful divorce is to be consistent. Sit down with your ex and talk about what rules or practices must remain in your households. Children need stability in their homes to flourish and develop well.
Even if you and your ex have disagreements, you want to be on the same page for the big things. Keep the rules the same in both households. This includes parenting styles, as well, with some variation depending on each parent.
7. Keep Communication Open With Your Ex
Going through a divorce doesn’t mean that you must cut off all forms of communication with your ex.
To be consistent with your parenting styles, schedules, and agreements, you still need to talk. If you can’t have a healthy discussion in person, then call or chat with your ex online.
If you want a face-to-face talk, but your marital issues get in the way every time, see a family therapist. Family therapists can help you both focus on the subject and not get lost in each other’s faults.
Consider parallel parenting if you can’t co-parent.
This is when you agree to be active in your child’s life but don’t engage with one another. It can help you find a way to get along for your kid’s sake.
8. Keep Your Kids Out of the Middle of Anything That Has to Do With the Divorce
A big no-no in divorce parenting is to use your child to communicate with the other parent.
This is harmful to the development of your child, especially when the parents fight often. Rather than enjoy their youth, your child may mature earlier than he or she needs to.
Rather than put your child in the middle of your disagreements, do your best to keep them out of it. Your kid already feels that way because they’re caught between the two parents. Pushing them in the middle can harm them in invisible and insidious ways.
Don’t make your child divide themselves in half. Don’t tell them that they can’t talk about the other household when they’re in yours. Instead, let them be open and share their experiences with you.
9. Be Honest With Your Child and Act Like an Adult
Sometimes, as a divorcee, you can’t help but be petty and spiteful to your ex. This will make you feel better in the short term. However, your kid will notice and remember this behavior for life.
Act like the adult that you are. Remember this when both co-parents and their families have to be present at the same time. Don’t let your child be the mature one for you.
Show your child that you can still talk to your ex despite how you feel about them. As a tip, look at it as a business meeting rather than a failed relationship. You are both investors and the child is the investment that you both have to care for.
10. Bond With Your Child
Whenever it’s your time to be with your child, make sure you bond with him or her. Again, you want to show your child that you’re still invested in his/her future and interests. Be present and empathetic, and try your best to be the best mom or dad.
This is especially important if your child is still young. Yet, even as your child grows older, they still want you to be there for them. If your child needs you and your ex to be there for a birthday party or a big game, be there.
As a precaution, don’t use your bonding time with your child to turn him/her against your ex. This is harmful to the child and your relationship with him/her. Be as neutral about the divorce as you can be when you’re with your kid.
Remain a Good Parent Through These Co-Parenting Tips
Those are our top 10 co-parenting tips after a divorce. We hope you picked up something useful and important from this list. Remember, it will take time and effort from both parties to have a successful divorce.
Did you enjoy reading these co-parenting tips? Do you want to see more content on family and divorce? Go ahead and check out our other posts now to read up on all the tips you can get right here.
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