For many, co-parenting amicably after a split isn’t easy. But if you can make it work, you will be able to give your children stability, security and a close relationship with both parents.
Here are a few tips for successful co-parenting after separation or divorce.
Separate the personal relationship with your ex-partner from the co-parenting relationship. Think of this as a completely new relationship that’s entirely about the wellbeing of your children and not about either of you.
Put aside any differences you may have and focus on the best interests of your child or children. Whilst your marriage may be over, your family is not. Try and put your children’s needs ahead of your own.
Separate your feelings from your behaviour. While it’s ok to be hurt or angry, these emotions don’t have to dictate your behaviour. Never vent to your child – get your feelings out somewhere else.
While you may never completely lose the feelings you have around your break-up, these issues should not become your child’s problem – don’t use them as messengers or put them in the centre of any conflict. Try and keep your child out of your relationship issues by speaking directly to your ex. And, never say negative things about the other parent to your children or make them feel like they have to choose. Wherever possible, a child has the right to a relationship with both parents that isn’t influenced by either one.
Find a way to communicate with your ex that you feel comfortable with. This could be via email or text. Treat it as a business relationship if you have to, and approach it in such way, keeping your tone neutral and respectful.