Do you find yourself critical of your ex’s parenting? Bemoan the fact that you can’t banish your former spouse from your life, because of your kids? If you let your opinions and emotions rule, you won’t be able to have an effective co-parenting relationship. Here are three reasons why you need one.
Co-parenting with your ex creates safety and stability for your kids. Conflict hurts children more than divorce itself. If you and your ex are unable to get along, and your interactions are punctuated by anger and drama, your kids will grow up in a war zone. They’ll have a hard time focusing on the developmental tasks of childhood and adolescence – mastery, self-concept, self-agency – if they live in a constant state of anxiety, wondering when the next skirmish will erupt. Your children may try to manage uncertainty by acting out to get attention or becoming premature adults. So try to put your feelings for your ex aside. Pretend he or she is your business partner or co-worker and you must work together to ensure that your endeavor – your children’s mental health – is successful.
Co-parenting with your ex shows your kids how to be a mature adult. Your children are watching you! And listening too. Watching their parents feud, or simply be inept at collaborating, will confuse kids about how a grown-up is supposed to act. Think long and hard about the lessons you want to impart. Do you want to teach your children about resentment and revenge? Or do you want to be a living example of conflict resolution, self-control, and personal growth? Think of co-parenting as an opportunity to show your kids how to be a mature adult.
Co-parenting helps you to move on with your life. Co-parenting can have it’s challenging moments, but no matter how ineffective a parent you may view your ex to be, blaming him or her for your co-parenting woes, and your children’s problems, will just give your ex more power – over your emotional well-being and quality of life. You can’t control your ex’s co-parenting efforts, but you can control your own. Do everything you can to communicate appropriately, manage your emotional reactivity, and squash urges to bad-mouth. Take an objective view of challenges. If the issue is something truly serious, such as an ex failing to show up for parenting time or violating other terms of your custody agreement, bring it to your attorney for appropriate next steps.
Wondering how you can best smooth the divorce transition for your children? Need help co-parenting with your ex? For assistance with child custody and child support issues, and all other matters related to divorce, our compassionate family law attorneys are here to help. Please call us at 888-888-0919 to schedule your initial consultation, or click the button below.