You and your ex-spouse might have fallen out of love. A third party might have entered the picture. The differences between you that were so endearing when you met now have irreparably harmed your relationship.
Any number of factors can lead to a divorce, but one thing always will linger from your marriage: the love that you share for your children. Why not try to put your best foot forward in your new relationship when it comes to co-parenting?
In a solid co-parenting situation, you and your ex agree to forge a strong partnership for the sake of your children through both an official parenting plan and a commitment to a positive attitude. Here are some tips:
- Agree to listen to the kids and support your co-parent. If your child is uncomfortable with the changed family situation, acknowledge those concerns and find a solution. Ask you how can help, and then offer comforting words, such as, "You're a lucky kid to have two parents who love you so much, and we're lucky to have you!"
- Concentrate on the time you have together rather than fret about the time you are apart. Even though you have responsibilities, the time you spend together should be quality time. Put away the distractions, involve the kids in things such as dinnertime and just talk about school while you stir your spaghetti sauce.
- Be flexible with your ex. Things change and events come up, so remain committed to working together to be flexible on when the kids are with and with your ex.
- Respect your co-parent's time with your kids. You will miss them, but don't crash their time together. Instead, ask if you can pick up the kids and take them to school to sneak in a few extra minutes. You just might be doing your ex a favor on a busy workday.
- Work together to solve conflicts and don't involve the kids. Always speak respectfully about each other to the children.
These are just five tips to put you on the path to successful co-parenting. The key is to keep talking and working on your new relationship. Your marriage produced your kids, and your divorce doesn't have to change your relationship with them.