A Short, Helpful Guide to Co-Parenting
It used to be the done thing to stay in an unhappy relationship for the sake of the children. Happily, things have moved on significantly and we now understand that to be the best possible type of parent we also need to prioritise our own well-being. Of course, parenting children alongside exes can be a challenge for many reasons. Fortunately, there are some strategies we can use to make this type of parenting as successful as possible. Keep reading to discover what they are.
1 – Define your Boundaries
Co-parenting, after a divorce, can be tricky. After all, the nature of your relationship with your ex tends to change significantly. Indeed, it can feel as if you are in opposition to your ex rather than working on the same team. Of course, this is not a healthy situation for a child to find themselves in, and they can often feel very torn or even responsible for the breakdown of the relationship.
To that end, it’s important that you have clear boundaries with your ex. You must also be consistent in enforcing them. Indeed, by doing this you can promote your own emotional security and are much less likely to interact with them reactively. This is good for your children because it means you are much more likely to be able to foster a supportive co-parent relationship and avoid any open hostility, even if there are issues and resentments that you are working through on a personal level.
2 – Make Financial Provisions for your Child
Another crucial aspect of parenting your children after divorce successfully is making sure you take care of their financial needs. Sadly, too many children experience hardships because one parent does not uphold their financial responsibilities after a relationship has broken down.
Of course, to be able to provide for your children after a relationship breaks down it is important that you have your own finances, assets, and investments in order. With that in mind, you may wish to find a firm of divorce solicitors that can deal with these, often tricky, situations for you. After all, it is often much more constructive to let professionals from an objective standpoint deal with such things, than make an already emotionally fraught situation even worse.
3 – Make Sure your Children feel Welcome in Each Home
Often, when relationships break down, one or both parents will move to a new home. Indeed, it is common for children of divorced parents to split their time between their parents houses. This means that it is vitally important that the children feel comfortable and happy in both homes.
Some ways in which this can be achieved is to make sure they have their own room, with their own toys and belongings. It also means treating them in the same way as any other children in the home. For example, even small things like being able to fix themselves a snack without having to ask, or making sure their favourite TV program is recorded and saved can make all the difference.
Photos by Kelly Sikkema