If you and your former spouse share children, you will still have to be in each other’s lives after your divorce is finalized and, if there is a lot of negativity and resentment between the two of you, working together to raise your children might prove to be somewhat challenging. Although you and your former spouse are no longer a couple, you should both still keep in mind that you are still in this together when it comes to your children. Therefore, it is crucial to set aside the personal feelings you might have for one another to do what is in the best interests of your children.
Here is some advice that will help you navigate the difficulties of co-parenting with your ex-spouse:
- Remove your feelings from the equation: No one is telling you to repress your feelings, but you should exclude them when it comes to co-parenting your children. If you let things like anger or resentment get in the way of being the best co-parenting you can be, then you are doing your children a major disservice. The feelings you have for your ex-spouse should not have any influence on how you raise your children, so set it all aside and focus on the needs of your kids.
- Focus on better communication: Any conflict can be resolved when people learn to communicate effectively, so always seek to improve the way you communicate with your former spouse. Consider which methods of communication work best for the two of you or which creates the least friction. Communicating in person is not always necessary, especially if it tends to result in more arguments. Perhaps emails, phone calls, or texts are more effective methods of communication for your situation. Additionally, to avoid engaging in discussions unrelated to the needs or welfare of your children, keep the tone similar to what you would use when speaking to a co-worker. It can help eliminate the possibility of things getting unnecessarily emotional.
- Keep your kids out of it: When you feel frustrated or angry with your former spouse, it might be tempting to vent to or in front of your children to let it all out, but this sort of behavior is actually harmful to them. You might not be on good terms with your ex-spouse, but poisoning your children against them is not the answer to your problems. Moreover, you should never use your children as messengers. If you need to say something to your spouse, do it yourself.
- Provide stability and consistency: When you were raising your kids under the same roof, they probably enjoyed some consistency in their lives regarding the rules and limitations set forth in the household. Just because you are divorced does not mean you should give up on trying to maintain a stable and consistent environment for your kids, so make an effort to coordinate with your co-parent regarding household rules to reduce any confusion for your kids.
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