After a divorce, one of the most difficult things for many people is getting used to co-parenting. You’re going from seeing your children every day, to having a schedule of when you will and won’t spend time with them. While there is no doubt that this is going to be challenging, there are ways to successfully co-parent that will benefit everyone involved. The following tips can be a great way to get started with successful co-parenting after a divorce:
Befriend the “Enemy”
When going through a divorce, it is easy to look at your ex as the enemy. In some very real ways, they may actually be the “enemy” in the sense that they are the opposition in the legal case. Once the divorce is over, however, you need to look at them more as your children’s other parent than as your ex or your enemy. To the extent possible, try to be civil at the least, and get along with them at most. It will not only be good for your children, but will also make your life easier when it comes to making adjustments or other things that are needed when co-parenting.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to co-parenting, neither parent is going to be able to spend as much time with the kids as they would like. This can be made much worse if you are only given what you feel is an unfair amount of parenting time. While there are things you can do to get more time with your kids, start focusing on making the time you do have with them as good quality as possible. This doesn’t mean spoiling them, but working to really cherish every second you have. Whether you are helping them with homework, or taking them to a ball game, consciously choose to make it all quality time.
Start New Traditions
Some parents are hesitant to start new traditions because they don’t want the child to think that everything from before the divorce is changing. No matter how hard you try, however, a lot is going to change. Starting new and exciting traditions with your children is a great way to begin moving forward as a family. To the extent possible, try to make arrangements with your ex that will allow these traditions to become a stable part of your children’s life going forward.
Develop a Support System
For many parents, the days that they don’t have their children can be emotionally challenging. While on the surface this new “freedom” may seem nice, it often becomes a source of guilt or anxiety. Start developing a support system with your friends and extended family to help you adjust to your new schedule.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Change
After a divorce, you will have a parenting agreement order in place. While this type of order is meant to provide stability for both the parents and the children, it doesn’t mean things can never change. If the way things currently isn’t working well for you and your children, it is possible to seek a modification. Contact our office to go over your options and see what can be done to make things easier for everyone involved.