We all know we need to prioritise our kids’ well being first after a separation or divorce, and that it’s important to work together with our ex to provide our kids with a stable and supportive environment, but that can also be really challenging at times. Here are some tips for co-parenting with an ex:
Communicate effectively: Effective communication is key to successful co-parenting. Keep communication respectful, focused on the children, and avoid discussing personal issues or engaging in any confrontational or argumentative behaviour. If things start getting tense, it’s best to walk away and find a different way to communicate - that might be through a shared parenting communication book, via email, or using a parenting app such as 2Houses or Our Family Wizard
Create a parenting plan: Create a parenting plan that outlines custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and other important aspects of co-parenting. This can help you and your ex establish clear expectations and avoid conflicts. It can also be helpful if there is a custody dispute in court in order to demonstrate that you’ve both tried to communicate about these issues, and now need support via more official means.
Be flexible: Be willing to be flexible and make adjustments to the parenting plan as needed. This can help you and your ex respond to changing circumstances and prioritise your children's needs.
Support your children's relationship with your ex: Encourage your children to maintain a positive relationship with your ex and support their time together. This can help your children feel secure and loved by both parents. It’s so hard for kids when they want to talk to or about their other parent and they feel that they can’t do so without upsetting the parent they are with. Make sure that you let your kids know that you understand how important their relationship with their other parent is, and that they are welcome to speak to and about them at any time.
Seek support: Seek support from a psychologist, support group, and/or your family and friends to help you cope with the stress and challenges of co-parenting. This can also help you develop strategies for managing your own emotions and supporting your children.
Remember, co-parenting with an ex requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to work together. By communicating effectively, creating a parenting plan, being flexible, supporting your children's relationship with your ex, and seeking support, and keeping the focus on your children you can help ensure that your children are well-supported and cared for during the co-parenting process.