Divorce is arguably one of the most stressful events in life. When a marriage comes to an end, it can be hard to adjust to your new life situation and especially the single parent life. However, regardless of the circumstances under which the divorce occurred, you and your partner need to prioritize the children’s best interests. Divorce or separation may indeed have a negative impact on children, specifically their mental health; however, it is essential to put your differences aside and come up with a solid co-parenting plan that can help address or minimize adverse effects your divorce may create. Here are four tips for healthy co-parenting after divorce.
One of the significant obstacles to successful co-parenting is negative feelings and emotions such as jealousy, envy, hatred, and anger toward your partner. It is best to give yourself ample time to mourn the “death/dissolution” of your marriage and to recognize the impact that the mourning process will have on you. You can do this through the help of a counselor who will help you work on your emotions and also provide tools to express these emotions appropriately and an appropriate time.
As much as it is vital to grieve your loss, always keep in mind that these emotions for a can interfere with your co-parenting goals. Deal with your feelings in a manner while you try to find the best co-parenting solutions for your kids.
Work together with your partner to set rules and activities that your children should practice consistently in both homes. Make your children stick to the rules regardless of how often they spend time with you. Always be firm and be sure to establish clear and fair consequences and rewards for their actions. Spending quality time with your kids makes them feel protected and loved, so be sure to incorporate this into your schedule to ensure that the children have a protected space with each parent.
A lot of changes will take place when you go your separate ways. Such changes can include moving to a new home, changing schools, personal items, and making new friends. Adjusting to these changes can be overwhelming for you and the kids. Be honest about these changes and have open discussions to help your children embrace any changes that come. You and your children need to recognize that these changes are complicated, and it is reasonable to have an array of feelings while coping with the changes. Provide your children with an example of how you are dealing with the difficulty of change to help them develop a positive mindset.
Respect is an essential virtue in life. After divorce, both you and your partner should maintain respect for each other to facilitate successful co-parenting. Your children are watching your interactions, and they use this as cues for their interactions and communications with you. They also use these interactions as an example of how they should manage conflict in their lives. Try and put the past behind you and co-parenting going forward will be easy for you both.
Parenting is difficult even when you are in the same household in a happy and thriving marriage, so try to provide grace to yourself and your partner as you navigate these new waters. Successful co-parenting requires cooperation, communication, forgiveness, and empathy from both parents. If one of you is not willing to work together with the other, you may have to consult a qualified counselor or parenting coordinator help you move forward. For legal representation and additional guidance talk to a family law attorney by contacting Easterling Law, PLLC now at 980-272-1365.