Parenting after divorce can be a challenge. you previously had a partner under the same roof who assisted with the parenting duties. But now it is all up to you. Additionally, you now share parenting duties with someone who may not only live far away but may not always be that easy to be in touch with.
However, both parents are usually aware of the importance of co-parenting and keeping the well-being of the children as their focus. Below are six tips to make your co-parenting duties more effective and beneficial for your child.
- Stay positive - No matter how toxic or fractured your relationship with your ex-spouse is, you should refrain from speaking badly about the other parent when the children are around. Kids do not want to take sides in their parent's squabbles. Also try to keep the interactions with your former spouse positive and cordial.
- Aim for consistency - If you can, aim to have the same type of structure and rules consistent in both homes. If one home allows for later bed times and constant games while the other home monitors these things, it can cause trouble. Children respond best to structure, and receiving it from one parent and not the other can cause discord.
- Update each other - Since parents know their child better than anyone else, sharing information with the other parent is important. If you see sudden changes in a child's mood or physical behavior, comparing notes with the other parent can benefit the child. Updates about positive outcomes should also be shared, including things like finishing a science project or a trip the child was on.
- Speak up about concerns - If you want your child to go in one direction and it looks like the other parent is going in the other, you should share this concern with them. Even if you are the parent who spends less time with the child, it does not mean you are any less of a parent. Your opinions about the upbringing of your child are just as valid and important as the other parent's.
- Always focus on what is best for the child - Co-parenting can bring scheduling challenges, but you should typically make every decision with the child's best interests in mind.
- Maintain daily routines - When the child is with you, their existing relationships and routines should be disrupted. Maintaining relationships with friends, family members and sports teams can increase the child's sense of stability and security.
Co-parenting can be an adjustment, and may take time to get used to. Keep in mind that maintaining a meaningful relationship with your ex and maintaining your child's routine can be important for successful co-parenting.