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Common Co-Parenting Issues
Co-parenting can be one of the most difficult things you may ever do. It is fraught with pitfalls and land mines. Confusing the issue of co-parenting is animosity between parents and the tendency to pull the children into the argument or expect them to take sides, which is a dangerous and detrimental action. Everyone should remember they are adults, not children and should act accordingly.
Suffer the Little Children
Although your marriage is over, as long as you have children you must face the fact that, no matter how you feel you will be in a co-parenting situation for the long haul. Set your mind on what is best for your children and work together to provide a safe, healthy, stable environment for them.
Divorce can be very stressful for kids; many blame themselves for the split and worry how their life will be now. Make it plain to your children that none of the blame falls on them and strive to show your children you still love them and that will never change. When kids feel more secure, they adapt much better to divorce.
Kids need consistency meaning similar rules, discipline and rewards for good behavior at each home. They don’t need two sets of rules, and each parent is responsible for working out a plan and making it work. Don’t drag your kids through the mud, flinging accusations or bringing up shortcomings of the other parent. This type of behavior will definitely lead to putting your kids through the wringer. If you are so focused on your dislike of your ex that you lose sight of what you are doing to your kids, it is time to stop and straighten out your priorities. Remember you are a grown-up and your child needs you to help them through this situation that is not of their creation. You still have a responsibility to help your kids get through this mess.
Put Aside Your Feelings
No matter how you feel about your ex, it should not take away from co-parenting. Vent to your friends if you must. Remember throughout the process that your focus, and your ex’s focus is your children. Put what is best for them first. This is a chance for both parents to be a positive role model and demonstrate cooperation. If parents can be cooperative through a bad time, he or she can see that is possible for him or her to do the same in the future. Any positive spin you can give the co-parenting can help ease the burden.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Deliver your own messages. If you have something to say to your ex, especially something controversial never put your child in the position of delivering a snide message. This puts him right in the middle, a place he should never be and any “victory” over your ex where you use your child as a pawn in a hollow one. Call, text or email your ex. don’t put it off on your kid.
No matter what type of relationship parents have, even an adversarial one, they should both strive to put the children first and do everything in their power to ease the transition and keep the peace in the future.