While you can divorce your spouse, you can’t divorce your children’s other parent. In other words, you don’t have to be married to them, but your child’s other parent will always be in their lives, just as you will. Consequently, it is a good idea to develop co-parenting strategies.
Consider the following strategies:
A United Front
Children feel more secure when their parents are on the same page. When one parent makes a discipline determination, it is essential the other parent back them up. If possible, attend parent teacher conferences together. When the child has a sporting event, is in the school play, or performs at a concert, both parents should attend. Even if you don’t see eye to eye on anything else, you should be able to unite on celebrating your child’s achievements.
With two sets of extended family, there are bound to be celebrations on one side when the other parent has parenting time scheduled. Consider being flexible to allow the child to participate in extended family celebrations on both sides – regardless of the parenting time schedule. Let your children know you value your child’s extended family on both sides. Work together with your ex to coordinate parenting time and family milestones.
Refrain from Criticism
It is inevitable your ex will do something to annoy, frustrate, or hurt you during your time as divorced parents. Do not criticize his or her actions to your children. You are welcome to feel and express your feelings – just not to your children. Children should never be put in the middle of parental disagreements, or made to feel the need to choose sides. Your therapist, your family, and your friends are all better choices for expressing frustration and disappointment.
Make it a Team Effort
Co-parenting provides certainty and comfort to children. Talk with your spouse about your desire for co-parenting if at all possible. If you can keep the best interests of the children at the forefront, in most instances, co-parenting works. There may be some missteps as the two of you adjust to your new normal, but in the long run, co-parenting pays off for the entire family.
There are many ways to co-parent. With shared parenting time part of the new normal of divorce, the law office of Zachary D. Smith, LLC – leading family law attorney in Cincinnati -can come up with a parenting plan that works for you and your family.
To learn more or schedule an appointment please contact ZDS at (513) 275-1164 or visit www.ZDSLaw.com.