Photo of Nathalie E. A. Paluch and Peter A. Lauzon

Parenting with an ex? Follow these tips for success.

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2016 | Divorce |

In an ideal situation, parenting has plenty of challenges. Something that’s come to the forefront of the parenting landscape these days is co-parenting. There has been plenty written about the difficulties and breakthroughs of this subject. Everyone would agree that co-parenting isn’t easy.

Despite this, there are some things that you can do to make things go more smoothly. Here are a few to think about to make co-parenting easier for everyone.

Change yourself

You cannot change your former spouse when it comes to interaction. You already know that at this point. On your end, don’t get discouraged if you lose your temper with your co-parent. Focus on some ways to stay calm better the next time you interact. Do your best to give your child the gift of cordial interaction among the two most important adults in his or her life. Work at answering calmly even when the other parent may not.

Not only will this set a better example for your child regarding conflict resolution but it will make the whole co-parenting process easier. Finding a friend or counselor to vent frustrations to could help instead of taking them out on your co-parent.

Avoid put downs

It’s only human to have strong and painful emotions after a broken relationship. It doesn’t make you weak to have these feelings. Your natural reaction will likely be to put down your spouse. Although this may make you feel good for the moment, it can damage your relationship with your child. It could make them lose respect for you which is the opposite of what you want. Also, if word gets back to the other parent, this will likely strain that relationship as well.

Stick to the plan

It’s important to stay the course regarding the prescribed plan worked out in court or as agreed upon between you and your co-parent. This will build trust between you and the other parent. It will also make your co-parent less likely to “bend” the rules on their end.

Written communication

Attempt to do much of your communication through email or texting. This will allow you to discuss potentially emotional circumstances with less friction. It will also give you a record of what was said should trouble arise. Another positive of using the written word will be that your child won’t get drug into what’s being said. They’ll be protected from your conflict in the event that things still get heated.

You don’t have to let the challenges of co-parenting get the best of you. By taking a few small steps, you’ll be able to significantly better the life of you and your child. Your child will look up to you for your courage in the long run and appreciate all of your hard work.