Co-parenting can be challenging, especially after a painful separation. However, no matter how difficult things might get, your child is always your top priority. Their needs must be respected and always come first. Children are directly affected by the way you co-parent and deal with the situation. Here are a few tips to help you make co-parenting a success and ensure a healthy environment for your child.
It’s about your child, not about you
Your child’s needs and happiness come first. So, you are annoyed at your ex? Your child is more important. Keep your feelings to yourself or find a way to resolve your issues without putting your child in the middle. They don’t need to, and should not, hear your arguments. You should also avoid criticising the other parent in front of them. These kinds of words can truly hurt your child.
Moreover, your kids are not your messenger. If you have something to say to your co-parent, just say it directly to them, and politely, please.
Your co-parent = your team member
Think of your situation like this: you are business partners working together on the same project, raising a healthy and happy child. Regardless of your anger and resentment, you are now a team. Therefore, it's important to always keep your conversations (at the very least) polite and focused squarely on your child.
Find a way to communicate effectively with your co-parent
Whether this is by phone, e-mail, via co-parenting apps or when you pick up the child on your co-parent’s doorstep, it’s vital that you regularly share information concerning your child. When you share custody and have decided to raise your child without being together, it's important to regularly update the other parent on what happened at school, as well as any other relevant information. Sharing pictures of your child and discussing social occasions that your co-parent might have missed is also a kind gesture.
Technology is your best friend
Co-parenting apps are amazing. They are a fantastic aid when it comes to keeping track of expenses, visiting times, birthday parties and doctors’ appointments. If your communication with your co-parent is not at its best or you tend to forget things (that’s normal when you have a busy life), don’t hesitate to take a look at these apps.
Additionally, the internet is full of amazing blogs about co-parenting. They’ll give you some useful tips to help you create a safe and loving environment for your child.
Don’t move too far away
If you want to make a fresh start in a new place or put as much distance as you can between yourself and your ex, we get it. However, think of your child. They need to see both of their parents in order to grow up happy. Living far from each other makes things much more complicated.
Try to stay close to each other and live in the same area so that your child doesn’t have to spent hours travelling from one home to the other. Not only is this tiring, there are also much more interesting things to be doing than sitting in the car when you’re a child!
Agree on the rules
It’s very confusing for a child when the rules are different at their mum’s and dad’s. Children need consistency and a routine to feel secure and stay in good health. You don’t have to agree on everything, but it’s essential to decide of a common set of rules regarding bedtime, meal times, discipline and rewards, for instance.
Learn to let it go
You can’t expect your co-parent to do things exactly the way you’d like them to. You need to pick your battles. You’re not the same person and you’ll do things differently. At the end of the day, you both love your child very much and want the best for them, and this is what matters most.