5 Tips for healthy co-parenting

Divorce or separation from your child’s other parent can be extremely emotional for everyone involved.

Couples who split up usually have a very hard time getting passed whatever issue led them to split up. When you have a child or children together, you absolutely have to get beyond that anger for the sake of those children.

You have to love your kids more than you hate your ex. It sounds simple, but it can be very hard.

It is important to think before you react to anything your ex does or says. Especially, if he or she is deliberately trying to provoke you.

Co-parenting is easier when you get along.

Here are some tips to help get you through co-parenting with someone who pushes ALL your buttons:

  1. Divorce Magazine (I didn’t know there was such a thing either) nails the number one best thing that I believe that you can do to keep separation from causing long term emotional issues for your child. Never, EVER, bash their other parent. No matter what happened between the two of you, your child loves their mother and their father. When you talk bad about someone they love, you are hurting your child.
  2. For me, Psychology Today’s recommendation that you “vow to be calm, pleasant, and non-emotional,” comes in at a solid #2. Don’t let your ex control your emotions. The less you react to their prodding, the less power you give them and the better you will feel. Imagine not carrying that anger with you every day.
  3. Never use your child as a weapon to hurt your ex. This seems like common sense, but the in the anger after a separation, sense leaves the equation.
  4. Don’t keep score. Maybe you buy shoes for your kids all the time and your ex never seems to pitch in. Maybe your ex tried to keep you from seeing your child. Maybe you go to every sporting event your child participates in, but your ex rarely attends. It does not matter. The only thing that matters is that your child is taken care of and that you do the best that you can. You can’t control your ex, and you shouldn’t try to. All you can do is be the best parent that you can be.
  5. Be flexible. If your custody agreement says that it is your day with your child, but it is a special occasion for your ex and they ask for some time, do your best to accommodate. Even if they have said no to you in the past.

Every journey starts with one step, be the one who takes that first step and starts the journey to a healthy co-parenting relationship.

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