You and your ex knew what you were getting into when you got divorced. You knew the challenges.
Your kids didn't. A co-parenting situation that sees them living in multiple homes can be challenging. If you really are looking out for their best interests, here are 10 simple tips to make their young lives that much easier.
- Don't spy or snoop. This puts stress and pressure on the kids if you're listening in on phone conversations or trying to use the kids to learn about your ex.
- When you're exchanging the kids, attempt to say something positive to your ex.
- Communicate as a couple about important things, like children's visits to the doctor or activities at school.
- Keep a schedule, but be flexible. You and your ex still have to plan around each other.
- Be encouraging of your child's relationship with your ex.
- Keep your cool around the kids. You and your ex may fight, but save it for your own time and don't scream in front of them.
- Don't interrogate the kids too intensely when they get back from living with your ex. It's fine to ask how things went, but don't be accusatory and drill them as if your ex isn't a capable parent.
- Talk to your ex if you have real concerns about needs like food or medication, rather than talking to the kids.
- Don't try to get involved in new relationships your ex may have. You'll both find someone new eventually, and you need to let that relationship, both with your kids and your ex, evolve naturally.
- Generally, be positive when talking about your ex to the kids. You don't have to like one another, but you're both still parents to the same children.
Using these tips helps things go smoothly and reduces the amount of stress on the kids. It also cuts back on disagreements and stress between the two of you, which helps the kids in the long run.
With a complicated co-parenting situation, it's also very important for you to know your legal options during divorce and your parental rights.
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