Whether a divorce was ugly or uncontested, once it is over, the former spouses can begin the next chapter of their lives. One of the new changes in this chapter involves adapting to the divorce to raise your children.
The negative consequences of a divorce on children can be staggering, and it is up to the parents to protect their children from these consequences. The relationship between you and your ex-spouse can significantly impact how your children develop, so what can you do to nurture a positive co-parenting relationship?
Tips for Better Co-parenting
There are many things parents can do to promote a healthy relationship, including:
- Keep feelings out – no matter how hurt a parent can be after divorce, their children do not need to see hostility between parents. Parents need to be able to separate their feelings towards their ex from their behavior towards them.
- Children are not tools of divorce – Children love each of their parents. Parents should never use their children to deliver messages, report information, or otherwise act on their behalf.
- Promote parental communication – regardless of how each parent feels about each other, they both still raise their children. To maintain a sense of stability for the children, parents need to regularly communicate with each other about the children’s wellbeing and growth.
- Make important decisions together – no parent should cut the other one out of significant choices. Medical choices, schooling decisions, and other decisions need to be made by both parents.
- Do not make visitation difficult – one parent should never be an obstacle for children seeing the other parent. If a parent keeps their kids from seeing their other parent, it can build resentment in the children toward the blocking parent.
Keep priority focused on the children. Whatever differences ex-spouses have with each other should stay just between them.
The Kids Come First
If you are a divorced parent, your children’s best interests are already your highest priority. These tips are good reminders for how to stay focused on your kids through a difficult divorce.