Co-parenting can be tough, especially if you’re feeling resentful about your divorce and having less time with your kids. It’s essential to put aside your differences and work together as much as you can to raise healthy, well-adjusted kids who know that both parents love them. Here are some tips to help you co-parent effectively after your divorce is final.
Don’t Ask Kids to be the Messenger
There are many ways to share information, but your kids should not be one of them. Sending emails or social media messages is one way to communicate. Text messages and phone calls are also effective means of communication. You don’t have to talk to your ex face-to-face, but don’t put your kids in the middle by asking them to share important information.
Make Sure Both Parents are Involved
If you have primary custody it is tempting to keep your kids away from the other parent, but kids need love and support from both parents. They need to know that they are loved unconditionally and that they are not the cause of the divorce. Encourage your kids to contact your ex regularly even if they are too far away for regular visits.
Resist the Urge to Bad-Mouth your Ex
It’s difficult to keep your mouth shut when you’re having a bad day, but your kids may feel bad about loving your ex if you’re expressing hatred or distrust. Answer any questions your kids ask as honestly as possible, but don’t call your ex names when you’re talking to them. Focus on being the best parent you can be instead of lamenting your divorce and the shortcomings of your ex.
Don’t Ask Kids to Keep Secrets
You probably don’t want your ex to know everything that’s going on in your life, but asking your kids to lie just causes them stress and anxiety. If you really don’t want to something to be shared with your ex, don’t tell your kids about it.
Let Them Contact the Other Parent
Even if you have regular visits scheduled, allow your kids to talk to their other parent privately whenever they want to. Whether it’s by phone, texting or email, kids should be in touch with either of their parents as much as they want to be. They are likely to be resentful later in life if they feel like you tried to keep them away from their other parent.
Try to Have a Positive Attitude About Visits
Transitioning from one house to the other can be hard to deal with, but try to have a positive attitude for the sake of your kids. Most kids look forward to seeing both of their parents and they shouldn’t feel guilty about it. There is nothing you can do about your ex’s parenting style, so make the best of it to make the transition easier for the kids.