Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents
If you have recently filed for divorce, we understand it’s not an easy task. Unfortunately, co-parenting after separation is also rarely easy. It is okay to be realistic and know you and your ex don’t have to be best friends after the divorce. However, there will be many bumps along the way. For example, coordinating schedules, having different parenting styles, communicating efficiently, being late for pick-ups, etc. If we add the particular challenges we are all facing due to the pandemic to the list, it’s normal to feel pressure and anxiety. Luckily, we have come up with a list of co-parenting tips for divorced parents to help you manage.
What is co-parenting?
First things first, it would be best to get clear with the definition of co-parenting. Co-parenting implies that both parents play an active role in their child’s everyday life. This is considered the best way to meet the child’s needs and retain a close relationship with both parents.
So, if you are planning to move to a new home with your child, it’s time to focus on healing by settling into your new place and giving it a personal touch. Relocating after divorce must mean double stress, but you can ease the process in some ways. First, it’s essential to make a priority packing list and stay as organized as possible. Remember to pack your child’s room last since you want to allow your kid to spend as much time there as they need. Doing so will allow you to prepare it like a pro and be dedicated to packing your child’s possessions. Sticking to a plan will ensure having a less stressful relocation altogether. Also, once you enter your new home, remember to unpack and decorate their room first.
When you get all of this sorted, it is time to think about your new way of life and co-parenting with your ex-spouse. It can be scary and challenging, but it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Once some time passes, you will get the hang of it, especially if you both work as a team. That’s why we have made up a list of co-parenting tips for divorced parents.
- Make your communication effective
- Never talk badly of your ex-spouse in front of your kid
- Allow time and opportunity to heal yourself
- Be flexible and accessible to your co-parent
- Make visitations easier
- Create a shared family calendar
Make the communication effective
It is a fact that disagreements are more likely to appear post-divorce. When they arise, it would be best if you kept them away from the kids. Experts say that if you need to discuss something important you disagree on, it would be good to schedule a date and neutral place to talk (avoid doing it at home).
If disagreements can’t wait, always remember that your child is watching, listening, feeling, and learning. In addition, it will be helpful to your child to see you two working through a disagreement.
Pro tip: Remember not to make your child a messenger. This would not be nice for them in multiple ways. It would be best if you established your preferred methods of communication right at the beginning.
Your ex is still your kid’s parent, so don’t talk badly about them
Even if you and your ex cannot personally stand one another, you have to remain realistic about the fact that you both still are your kid’s parents.
By both of you actively participating in your child’s life, it’s undeniable your child will hear all the offhand comments and remarks. Therefore, it would be best if you avoid these completely.
It is important to remember that you can still have a loving and caring relationship with your child, even post-divorce. However, your relationship will develop in a new way which can and should be strong and beautiful, even if you talk about your recent divorce.
Don’t forget to heal yourself
If one of the co-parents hasn’t dealt with the emotional baggage a divorce brings and isn’t ready to move on, it is almost certain that you will bring your hurt into your new co-parenting relationship.
If you are a happier person individually, it will make you focused and attentive to co-parenting. On the other hand, if you are struggling to move on, know that some therapists specialize in co-parenting. Therefore, going to therapy would be of tremendous help along the way.
Be flexible and accessible
Having a sense of stability and consistency is crucial in difficult and uncertain times, especially for children. If your child sees you showing forgiveness to your ex-spouse, they will also learn they have a supportive place during difficult situations.
That’s why being flexible with your ex-partner will go a long way. For example, you might need to switch days, spend Thanksgiving together, or do something together as a family. If, for some reason, your ex calls about a change in the schedule, and it’s an easy one for you, don’t just say no to make things difficult.
Additionally, showing respect to your ex stems from good communication. Therefore, if you have time to talk and your ex is calling, pick up the phone. If you are used to texting, consider responding promptly and be kind and respectful. Your ex-spouse will appreciate it, and most importantly, your act will set the tone for your future conversations.
Make visitations easier
Every reunion with one parent will mean the child needs to say goodbye to the other one. It can be difficult for them too.
When your child is supposed to leave, you should remind them of the upcoming event, pack in advance, and drop them off on time. Once your kid returns, try helping them with the adjustment. Always make sure you have some 1:1 time to reconnect and establish a new routine for their return.
Make a shared family calendar
If possible and appropriate, having a shared family calendar online, which both co-parents can access, would be of great help. This way, both of you will be involved in school and social events, medical appointments, sports, and extracurricular activities.
Another advantage of doing this is that it will positively impact your teamwork since none of the parties will feel excluded.
The takeaway from co-parenting tips for divorced parents
Divorce is difficult for everyone, especially for children. So, if you are dealing with divorce in the middle of a pandemic, we feel you. It will be a long and hard road. By following our co-parenting tips for divorced parents, you will find the new “working” style, which will eventually become your routine. And life will get easier.