For divorced parents, learning how to effectively co-parent together can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task, especially if you have a highly contentious relationship or unresolved anger. It is important to remember that, though you might have issues with one another that might never find closure, you both have a mutual interest in supporting the well-being and happiness of your children. For their sake, it is crucial that you set aside your differences and focus on providing the stable and secure environment they need to thrive.
Unless your family is facing serious issues such as domestic violence or substance abuse, it is ideal for both parents to maintain continued involvement in the daily lives of their children. It might not be easy, but it is certainly not impossible.
Here are some tips to help you and your fellow co-parent effectively work together for the benefit of your children:
- Set aside your feelings: To successfully co-parent, your emotions must take a backseat to your children’s needs. Any resentment, anger, or hurt you might feel cannot be at the forefront, governing your actions and decision-making regarding your children. Co-parenting is about focusing on your children’s needs and happiness. That does not mean your own feelings do not matter. In fact, you should find appropriate outlets to release your feelings, such as speaking with a therapist, spending time with close friends, or engaging in healthy activities that allow you to let off some steam. However, whatever you do, do not vent to your children by unleashing the negative feelings you have for your ex on them. This will only harm them and make them feel guilty for wanting to have a relationship with their parent.
- Improve communications with your co-parent: Communication is key in co-parenting, so find out what method works best for you and your ex. You do not have to meet in person to discuss your children, especially if it is too upsetting to see him or her face-to-face. Speaking over the phone, texting, or emails are all just as effective methods of communicating, so figure out which one works best and stick with it. It is also important to keep all conversations focused on your kids. Deviating from kid-focused discussions might result in arguments from which neither one of you will benefit. Stay on topic and set a respectful and business-like tone.
- Work as a team: One of the most crucial aspects of co-parenting is working as a team. This means creating a unified set of expectations for your children to avoid any confusion. When children have two sets of rules and are disciplined differently, it can create not only immense confusion, but an incredible amount of stress and anger for your children. To avoid this, establish clear and consistent guidelines for them as well as predictable schedules they can rely on.
Your ex-spouse does not have to become your best friend. Instead, you should aim for civility, mutual respect, and honest communication regarding your children. You both want what is best for them, so keep this in mind as you work together.
Rocklin Family Law Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Keegan & Myers PC, our Rocklin child custody attorneys have decades of experience representing families of Placer County and Sacramento who are facing the daunting task of determining child custody. If you are in the midst of a child custody case or are interested in modifying an existing agreement, seek the legal assistance of our Rocklin legal team today.
Call us at (916) 634-0067 to request a low-cost and confidential consultation to get started on your case.