How to navigate co-parent difficulties

On Behalf of | May 18, 2020 | Divorce |

Your lifestyle after divorce will be very different than it was before you separated from your spouse. Not only will it take time to adjust to not spending every day with your children, but tension can also bubble up between you and your ex-spouse as you navigate your new lives.

The co-parenting arrangement you devise could work at first, but could also cause trouble down the line when things like scheduling changes or lack of communication come up. To make sure you can provide the best you can for your children, it’s important to consider their needs first, think about changing your parenting style and recruit help when it’s needed.

Check in with your children

It’s important to evaluate your child’s well-being as a parent in general. When you are co-parent that spends time without your children day in and day out, it’s especially important to see if any changes are negatively impacting your child’ life. This can begin with asking if they feel like they are acclimated to their schedule, seeing how they are doing at school and doing a mental health check.

If your child is suffering, it’s important not to resort to the blame game. For example, instead of lashing out at your co-parent because your child is displaying behavioral problems, your child should be your main focus. Divorce can take a toll on children, so it’s important to show your children you are there for them and can get them the help they need. You should also be kind to your co-parent to assure your child their home life is safe.

Try a new parenting style

If you are constantly struggling with co-parenting, because your ex always asks for schedule changes or you simply can’t get along with them, then maybe you should change your approach.

Since co-parenting is truly a joint effort that requires steady communication between you and your ex, sometimes a more business-like approach works better for divorced parents. So, instead of having a schedule full of leeway and interpretation, you work out a much more detailed parenting time arrangement and a uniform drop-off and pick-up system.

Maybe elements of co-parenting and parallel parenting work best for your family. For example, you might like the idea of minimal contact with routine parenting time, but like to constantly be in the know about all medical matters regarding your children. There is no right or wrong choice, rather it’s critical to devise a plan that works for you, your ex and your children.

Get third-party help

Maybe you’ve tried out different parenting styles and have ran out of ways to try and comfort your children during this difficult time. Thankfully, you can find pillars of support outside of your home through mediation or even therapy.