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Helpful Hints on Co-Parenting After a Divorce


Let’s face it, a divorce is hard as it is; adding children into the equation can make things even harder. You want to be happy yourself, you want to make sure your children are as happy as possible, and sure, you hope your ex is ok too. Transitions from a divorce can be uncomfortable at times, and yet liberating; a fresh start if you will. Many will heed their advice saying that even though you may want your spouse out of your life, it is essential to keep them in the children’s life. Unless there is the unique situation of it not being in the best interest of the child, though most divorces are just irreconcilable differences and not safety issues. Here are a few hints to keep in mind when seeking to co-parent with your ex-spouse in order to promote a healthy environment for your children.

First off, acknowledge that there will be a natural tendency towards wanting to be the “best” parent to your children, a sense of competition between you and your ex. Keep in mind that this is not a healthy balance for the children to observe, as a parent your goal is for them to grow up healthy and strong, both mentally and physically, and this can best be done when both parents work together towards that end. Trying to “beat” the other spouse is only going to cause tension and stress for the child, and distract them from what really matters in their life. As parents, whether or not you two had irreconcilable differences doesn’t mean that the child has to choose a favorite. Work together as the parents and care giver of your children to push them to be the best they can be at whatever they do in life. If you are better at art and English homework and your ex is the athlete and science guy, then work together to use your talents in order to equally benefit your child.

Encourage your child to seek the guidance of the other parent also, show them that while you are divorced you are still a team in working towards helping them grow up. As one of the parents, perhaps custody has the child with you the majority of the time; consider keeping the other parent still involved in the extracurricular activities. Let your ex know when their Tuesday night basketball game is, or their Friday night performance is. Sit together and share in the moment of your children’s successes rather than sulk in your marriage losses. Lastly, be gracious with your spouse; while they may have done a few things that you can’t forget, remember that you are working together for your child’s sake and not your own. By focusing on your child rather than yourself is going to help your children primarily, and as parents that is an important goal to have.