Adjusting to a co-parenting routine can be one of the most difficult changes for you and your children. Don’t worry, it's possible with just a little patience. Here are 5 tips to successfully manage co-parenting.
1. Communicate as a parent, not a couple.
Having to communicate with your ex-partner during or after a divorce may be unpleasant. Like with any relationship, you will need to communicate even if it does become an argument. It’s important to recognize that you will have to build a new relationship with your ex in order to make the best decisions for your children. The idea is that you are both able to come to a resolution in the end for the best interest of your children.
2. Do not talk negatively about your ex to your children.
It’s easy to badmouth your ex when you are feeling upset. I am sure every ex has done it but for the sake of your children, you should not. Why do you ask? It’s simple. You must stop and think about what it would feel like to have the roles reversed. How would you feel knowing that your children are listening to negative accusations about you? Children imitate the behavior of their parents from the time they are born. It’s the responsibility of a parent to teach their kids to be respectful even if it's hard and above all, to be their role model.
3. Create a visitation routine.
Having to go back in forth as children to accommodate divorce visitation can be stressful for not only yourself but for your kids. It's important to create a routine with your kids so they are aware of their schedule. You can take it a step further by developing a visual calendar that you and your kids can manage each month. The calendar can highlight special activities with you or your ex-spouse, so they are aware of the type of clothes to bring and the exact time for pick up/drop off. Most importantly, do not be late for pick up or drop off. As difficult as it is to have to leave your kids, being respectful of time is key to avoid conflict.
4. Be flexible with birthdays and holidays.
Birthdays and holidays can be important milestones for your child. If you know your child’s birthday or your ex’s birthday is landing on a weekend that is designated to you, be proactive and ask your ex if they would like to take the kids that weekend or would like to build a schedule of events for the day. The same with Holidays, if your family is planning a big reunion for Christmas, let your ex-spouse know and make arrangements that can work for the two of you. Work on a schedule with your ex that could be helpful for the two of you. The plan should always be to create positive long-lasting memories with your kids regardless of the circumstances.
5. Set social media guidelines.
The worst thing you can run into is a picture of your child that you did not expect to be on the internet. Before you argue, set some time aside to discuss privacy guidelines with your ex-spouse. These guidelines can consist of describing the appropriate way to display pictures of your child online to how to respond to family members who may have an opinion of the photo. Avoiding conflict between families is essential even online as both of you navigate your new reality.
Lastly, do you have questions about your child custody agreement or child support and would like to look at adjusting certain items? C. Y. Lee Legal Group, PLLC is here to help you. Click here to set up an appointment, or call (832) 838-1743.