23 Feb Doable Tips For Co-parenting After Divorce
In any child custody situation, the bottom line is truly one thing: your kids deserve to have a healthy relationship with both of their parents. It is your co-parenting relationship that has the most effect on your children and the way they are ultimately impacted by this enormous change in their lives. Of course, this may seem like a daunting task. To try and work through all the emotional baggage and resentment you may have with your ex is no small undertaking. However, the bottom line is not IF you can co-parent because you have to, the question is how well you do it.
1. The Blame Game
Children go through healthy changes and some of them you may not like. Don’t automatically assume that every change your child goes through, that is less than desirable, is because of something your ex is or isn’t doing. Consider the fact that these changes may be part of normal childhood development and seek to work together to work through the issue.
2. Thinking Your Ex Will Change
Not going to happen. Chances are if that were an option you wouldn’t be divorced. So, instead of suggesting things and being critical, figure out a way to co- parent within the confines of your different styles. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
3. Don’t Always Think Your Way Is The Best Way
You and your co-parent most likely had many differences of opinion about many things, including parenting. These may have quite possibly even contributed to your divorce. It is unrealistic to believe that the two of you will now parent the same. Learn to communicate and be on the same page regarding larger issues, such as when your child is allowed to date or drive. “ Pick Your Battles” and leave the small things alone. In the bigger picture that’s what counts and will create an environment with less friction and debate.
4. Thinking It’s “Your Time” As Opposed To Your Child’s Time
Now that you are a two-household family system, you may feel that your day with your child is limited and that when you do have time, you want to spend it with them. As important as family time is, remember that this is your child’s time, not yours. To grow independently, children need to be engaged in outside activities and spend time with friends. As a parent, it is your job to facilitate this, to make sure they are engaged and involved in the world.
5. Children Put In The Middle
Putting children in the middle is the worst-case scenario. This includes having your kids relay messages to your co-parent, not sitting together at events, or putting them in the position, whether purposefully or inadvertently, of having to choose between spending time with you or with your co-parent. Your child has two parents, and your child should be encouraged to love you both. Think about a child at bat while playing soccer. If their parents are sitting on opposite sides of the field, where do they turn for that smile of encouragement after they get a goal? They are in the middle, literally. Do not put your child in that position.
Contact New Jersey Child Custody Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom
Child custody and divorce are facts of life. Attorney Jeffrey M. Bloom and his staff are here to help you through a tough and challenging part of your life. Our group of professionals can give you the legal help and advice you are looking for – (855) 208-3650.