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Simple Rules for Co-Parenting.

~The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.~ Mahatma Gandhi

Breaking up is difficult, breaking up a family is devastating. The unknown is fearful and our mind has a way of blowing things out of proportion. If you can incorporate a few simple rules your life will become less complicated and a lot easier. One of the things that I am constantly reminding myself is that I only have control over myself, my reaction, thoughts and how I process a situation. If your able to weave these thoughts in your everyday life then you’re one step ahead. Your ex will want to fight, pull passive aggressive moves, manipulate and or alienate you but it is up to you to take the high road. Think about your children before you engage with your ex, have in mind how your actions will affect the children. Have a talk with your ex and agree to set aside your differences and place the kids needs first , agree to love your child more than you hate your ex.

To co-parent effectively make sure that you and your ex keep each other informed about changes in your life circumstances so that the children are never the primary source of information. Agree with your ex that you absolutely will not speak ill of one another in front of the children and most importantly don’t allow the child to speak disrespectfully about the other parent

Talk about your parenting plan, it would be ideal to have the same set of rules in both homes, children thrive with consistency. As kids get older their needs change, it would be wise to discuss visitation, holidays, events or kids extra curricular activities.

These next two are extremely important! Before jumping to conclusions about what your kiddo has said that occurred during a visit, talk to your ex first, I’m not saying doubt your child, I’m saying get both sides first. Every story has three side, kids, ex and what really happened. Remember how a child and or ex perceives a certain situation is valid, it's their feeling, it is not up to you to discredit anyone's feelings. What you are responsible for is the aftermath, your emotions and how you will react. It is up to you to take the pertinent information and turn it into a positive learning experience for your little ones. Set boundaries with your ex to keep your sanity. You ask how? When talking about the kids, always keep it about the kids, never venture off. Use email as a form of communication, keep everything flat dry and centered around the children.

Winston Churchill said it the best, “Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about.” Everything you do is for your children, remember their childhood is theirs, don’t steal it from them. Have your ex on board in the “NEVER” rules. Never sabotage your children’s relationship with the other parent. Never use your children to get back at or hurt your ex, or as tools to gain information and manipulate your ex. Never transfer hurt feelings and frustrations toward your ex onto your child. Never force your children to choose a side when there’s a conflict in scheduling or another planning challenge. Never convert guilt into overindulgence when it comes to satisfying your children’s material desires.

Two things prevent us from happiness, living in the past and observing others. Don’t let others dictate what your co-parenting relationship should be and most importantly be consciously aware your relationship with your ex has evolved.

“Forget what we became, focus on what we're capable of becoming.” ― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

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