6 tips for a successful co-parenting relationship
Divorcing spouses who have children together often forget that when their marriage ends, a new co-parenting relationship with that former spouse begins – and they’ll need to work harder at this new relationship for the benefit of the children.
Having a successful co-parenting relationship is critical because, at the end of the day, it’s not the kids’ fault. They are the voiceless victim of their parents’ inability to make their relationship work. You as the parent need to reflect on what you’re saying, doing, or otherwise communicating to your kids – either directly or indirectly through your actions or inactions. If you don’t, the damage will be so great that the emotional baggage alone will burden those kids for the rest of their life.
The key to a positive co-parenting relationship is to be positive in both your thoughts AND actions.
Here are 6 tips for a successful co-parenting relationship:
Keep your children top of mind
The Court’s focus will be on your children and their best interests. If you focus on what your kids need and less on what you want, you will make better choices during the divorce proceeding. If you are required to testify in your case and your kids’ best interests have motivated your actions, the court will take notice.
Forgive the other spouse and honor them
Whatever you think they did wrong to you, forgive. You’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll find peace within yourself if you let go of that negative energy. Once you have done that, honor them at all times, especially around your children.
Accept change, handle awkwardness with grace
Often, there is an awkward phase before you and your former partner settle into a new routine after the separation. This is very normal and should be expected. If you can talk about this awkwardness with your ex, it may enable you to define what the new routine is more quickly. Regardless, keep everything business-oriented by setting clear boundaries, state your expectations, and focus on clear and open communication. Be quick to provide grace, and remember your kids are watching.
Present a united front
If your child asks you to do something, always say, “let me discuss that with your mother or father.” Give the appearance of a united front. Otherwise, you will soon be manipulated by your very smart children. Never let your children play you against the other parent, and make sure your actions never undermine the other parent.
Set a good example at all times
Be an excellent communicator, err on the side of giving too much information. If there’s a problem, show you can work it out. If necessary, seek professional guidance as a family. The more unified you look as a family, the more unified you look to your kids.
Facilitate a meaningful and loving relationship between the other parent and your children
It is absolutely critical that you make certain your kids feel like they can be open with you about the relationship they are having with their other parent. Talk positively about the other parent and celebrate the good times they are having.
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As a parent, the most important duty you have is to show your children what a healthy relationship looks like – even in the face of divorce – so that they have something to model themselves after. If you’re a dad, your role with your daughter is what she will base relationships on going forward. Boys will see how you treat their mother.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.