Many newly divorced parents find it difficult to treat their former spouse civilly and respectfully, especially after their marriage ends in anger and resentment.
However, if you have kids together, it’s in their (and your) best interest to forge a new relationship – an alliance, if you will – that focuses on your children’s future.
Considerations for co-parenting
Both you and your ex want the best for your kids. Instead of focusing on past areas of disagreement, prioritize your kids’ welfare. Cooperation can ease a difficult transition for them and you. Here are 10 considerations to build upon:
- Reliability: Stick to your commitments and mean what you say.
- Responsibility: Honor all obligations to support your children.
- Appreciation: Acknowledge the other parent’s positive efforts.
- Respect: Never speak negatively about your co-parent in front of your kids.
- Flexibility: Be open to modifying your parenting schedule when conflicts arise.
- Tolerance: Accept that lifestyles may be different in each household.
- Support: Be on the same page and enforce disciplinary actions from your co-parent.
- Involvement: Work together on problem-solving when challenges appear.
- Responsive: Always be on call and available when emergencies happen.
- Reasonability: Talk through inevitable differences calmly and constructively and commit to communicating until finding an acceptable resolution.
A little bit of courtesy goes a long way
No co-parenting relationship will ever be perfect. However, toxic situations are more likely to cause long-lasting or permanent harm to your children without consideration and courtesy. While your marriage may be over, your connection to your kids never ends.