If you and your ex are divorced, you may be anxious to move forward into your new life as a single person. However, if you have a child together and share custody, you will remain tied to your ex as far as raising your child goes, and this means effectively co-parenting with your ex for the benefit of your child.
Keep the lines of communication open
To effectively co-parent, you need to keep the lines of communication open with your ex. Your ex needs to know about your child’s life while your child was in your care. If you are on good terms with your ex, you can have a face-to-face conversation during child custody exchanges or at other times. If you are not on great terms with your ex you can send an email, text message or even upload information on a shared online schedule.
Keep rules consistent
Kids can be easily confused if the rules at mom’s house are different from the rules at dad’s house. While it can be tempting to try to be the “fun” parent and be more lenient when your child is in your care, ultimately children need routine and structure. You and your ex need to agree on house rules so your child can feel secure no matter whose care they are in.
Don’t badmouth your ex
You may be tempted to complain around your kids if you have lingering resentment towards your ex. However, this should be avoided. It can make children think they have to pick sides, and could even lead your child to develop unwarranted animosity towards your ex.
It is better to vent to your therapist, not to your child. Better yet, talk to your children about things your ex is good at, so your child can see the positive qualities in both of you.
Effective co-parenting benefits all
Ultimately, your child benefits when you and your ex effectively co-parent. You both want to play an important role in your child’s life, and this means working together to some extent. Sometimes this means taking the high road and keeping the best interests of your child in mind. Co-parenting with your ex can ensure your child grows and thrives in a positive manner post-divorce.