New Years Resolution
The New Year is in full swing, what were your New Years resolution? Join a gym, start a new career, trade in your car, what was on your list? Was being a cooperating co-parent one of the items? Did you place the well being of your child on your New Years resolution?
If not, may I ask why?
Co-parenting takes both parents to be on board and put their child's needs before theirs. What's stopping you from being a better co-parent? Place aside the ill feelings, anger, rage and focus on your child. Your child needs to see their parents getting along, you'd be setting the right foundation that your child needs.
Both parents must show empathy, patience and be willing to communicate in order to be successful. Divorce and separation occur, sometimes people just fall out of love or grow apart. At times, though unfortunate circumstances people fall for someone else. I do think that people can still be good parents, even if they weren't great spouses, with that said, placing the focus on your child is a wonderful way to co-parent and interacting with your ex in a healthy way.
Here are some simple tips;
1. Have the lines of communication open. Communication can be verbal, texting, emailing, snail mail or through websites that allow parents to interact. These websites are great because you can upload your child's schedule, share doctors information, documents and updates.
2. Rules in one house should trickle down to the second home. Meaning you and your ex must communicate, stand in unison and provide structure for your children. When parents stand together, back one another up it will set up consistency and predictability for your children. So no matter where your child is, he or she knows that certain rules will be enforced
3. Talk positively about your ex and your personal relationship with your ex. Do not disrespect your ex and most importantly don't make your issues your child's.
4. Find a common ground with your ex regarding boundaries and what behavior is acceptable for the child. Parents need to be unified, so there's conformity with the child no matter who's house they are in.
5. Both parents need to understand that co-parenting will be challenging and the reason for making accommodations in your parenting style is NOT because your ex wants things a certain way, but it is for the needs of your children.
6. The upside about standing as a team, your children will not be tempted to play the two of you. Know that children will frequently test boundaries and rules, especially if there's a chance to get something they may not ordinarily be able to obtain.
7. This is directed to the non-custodial parent, you don't have to be the ice cream and cookies parent all the time. Kids need down time, they need to do ordinary things with their less-seen parent.
8. Keep your ex in the loop. It may be emotionally painful, make sure that you and your ex keep each other informed about all changes in your life, or circumstances that are challenging or difficult. It is important that your child is NEVER the primary source of information. Your child should never be the go between.
9. Each parent has valuable strengths as an individual. Remember to recognize the different traits you and your ex have and reinforce this awareness with your children.
Speaking positively about your ex teaches children that despite your differences, you can still appreciate positive things about your ex. It will also direct your children to see the positive qualities in his or her parent too.
10. Do not to involve outside opinions on how your relationship with your ex should be. Don't let others dictate how you should behave and how you should feel because they are not part of the everyday dynamics of your child's life. Don't let others misguide you because of their interpretation of how a relationship should be handled and most of all remember everything you do impacts your child well being.
11. Last but not least, don't assume anything. Ask you ex anything that is on your mind versus assuming because once you've jumped to a conclusion without asking you've just destroyed yourself. Ask, ask, ask, no question is ridiculous.
Let this years goal be a positive one, if you can try to focus on the good you've take the first step in changing the hostile environment. There really isn't a need to hold on to the animosity, both parents have the same goal, to raise a healthy, happy, well adjusted child.
Happy New Year!