This week, Darren and Paige discuss tips and tricks to help with a problematic co-parenting situation. This is hard stuff!! You are divorced for a reason, and now you still have to make many decisions together around the children. Let’s dive in!
It’s not always rosy after a divorce. In fact it rarely is…
So you’ve made the decision to divorce. Sad. Now you have to co-parent with the person that you decided, for whatever reasons, to not be with anymore. Now parenting will be easy with your spouse/significant other gone, right? Oh, heck no. It is SOOOO much harder, especially in the beginning. Those little things you disliked about your spouse are now huge. And sometimes you just want to stick it to the other, just for kicks. But that is not what is best for the kiddos involved. Not at all. But how do we continue to parent when we disagree, don’t get along, and just want the ex to go along with whatever I say because I am right!
Here are tips on co-parenting with someone you don’t agree with:
- Set boundaries with your kids. Sometimes we want to be the “fun” parent after a divorce. Kids need consistency. We don’t want them to grow up entitled little brats because of our insecurities as a parent. We may be viewed as the “non-fun, serious house,” but the kids need boundaries and will thank you later in life.
- Do not criticize your co-parent in front of the kids or to just anyone who will listen. This is confusing and hurtful to the kids. Also, do not let the kids speak disrespectfully about the other parent. They can vent respectfully.
- Be a team. This will be hard, especially at first. The kids need to see a united front if possible. You will have significant decisions about the kids, and it will only hurt them if they know you are divided on certain things and will confuse them.
- Focus on your child’s needs. You may think that this goes without saying, but sometimes you are focused on your anger at your ex, and you have a hard time focusing on your child. Adopt a business-like attitude; the business is the children. Talk only about the children.
- Don’t talk on the phone. This is especially true in the beginning or if you just constantly argue. Communicate thru texts or emails to give yourself a minute to think and act rationally. This will also let you respond to some things and not to others. Also will give you evidence should you need it one day for court; let’s hope not.
- Don’t expect too much. Manage your expectations. It could go either way after the split. They might step up and be a better parent or not.
- Have a support system. Many days, you feel like it is just too much dealing with your ex. It can be very hard. Have that one friend or family member you can vent to and maybe get advice from. Don’t vent to everyone!!! Pick a few people that you trust.
- Go to court if you must. If you have tried everything and it is not getting any better, you will go. This is the LAST resort. There is usually no winner in court. It can get ugly.
- Let the past go. Let it go, Let it go! To succeed in co-parenting, you need to let go of the anger and resentment and start anew. It is no longer about your ex’s feelings; it is about the kids. Kids’ best interest, repeat frequently.
You can do it!! It can be a roller coaster at times. Buckle up and try to enjoy the ride!!
Lemonade Moment of the Week
The last person in our house finally gets COVID. We got to spend some one-on-one time with David.