When parents divorce, their top priority should be co-parenting their children with success. Although divorce is difficult on you and your former spouse, you still have to come together and create a healthy co-parenting atmosphere for the health and well-being of your children. The following are some tips you as co-parents can consider when moving forward.
Figure Out a Healthy Communication Mechanism
For many couples who divorce, communication can be difficult. When all is said and done, you both have to move past any difficult feelings and communicate effectively where your children are concerned.
If you can speak face-to-face, the children will recognize that you are both satisfied in your new roles as co-parents. The ability to talk to one another shows you have moved forward and are committed to raising your children together.
In-person communication is not best for all situations. Still, you need to have the ability to maturely communicate in some way, whether through text, phone calls, or email. You can even set up a calendar online so you both have access to your children’s schedules.
Create a Consistent Environment
As co-parents, one of your goals should be to have consistency between both households regarding the children. This includes behavioral guidelines and boundaries. No matter which parent the children are with, they need to understand that the same rules apply.
Do not get into a war with your former spouse on behavioral issues. If a child is grounded at one parent’s home, the child should be grounded at the other. This creates consistency and shows the children they cannot simply escape punishment by going to their other parent’s home.
Include Extended Family
Co-parenting extends to your entire family, not just those in your immediate household. Discuss with your former spouse any roles you expect extended family members to play in the lives of your children. Make it clear to your extended family there is to be no animosity towards your former spouse.
Everyone needs to get along for the sake of the children. If your former spouse needs to drop your children off to their former mother-in-law for the afternoon, be sure the relationship is cordial and friendly, not hostile or filled with tension.
Do Not Try to Out-Do the Other Parent
After a divorce, some parents have feelings of guilt and attempt to shield it with going overboard with the kids. Do not try to outdo your former spouse by taking the children on amazing outings or giving them new toys whenever they want. This will only create an atmosphere of resentment between the children and their other parent.
While you can have fun with your children, do not try to buy their affections with vacations or possessions constantly. Discuss any extravagant plans with your former spouse and take his or her considerations to heart. Take turns on taking the children on trips, and come together before making large purchases for the children.
Never Speak Inappropriately About Your Former Spouse
Above all, do not talk badly about your former spouse in front of your children. Despite everything, your children love their other parent and do not need to hear constant badmouthing from you. You are free to have those feelings, but air them in an appropriate manner, such as with a therapist or with a close friend when your children are not in earshot.
If you have any questions about divorce or other family law matters, please contact the Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC. We look forward to setting up a consultation with you to see how we can help you, and we hope to hear from you soon.