Co-parenting can be a challenge. Follow these dos and don'ts to create a co-parenting opportunity.
- Give up. Co-parenting is a long term effort and should be continually encouraged by you and your ex.
- Focus on how your ex parents, focus on what each of you should parent.
- Ever talk badly about your ex in front of your kids. Kids will get confused and defensive about the other parent and ultimately they will resent you.
- Think of your kids as an extension of your ex. They are unique, wonderful people and do not deserve to be an emotional punching bag.
- Keep your resentment inside. Learn to let go and move forward with your life. If you don’t your ex will always have power over you. Isn’t that one of the reasons why you left in the first place?
Where we get lost as parents is exerting our belief rather than exposing our belief. Exerting is a struggle that creates right and wrong, dominance and control. Exposing is an opinion that expresses freedom, flexibility and choice. Which would you rather have?
Sure, as a parent, you have an opinion on what you want to teach your kids. But you are also an adult. And as an adult you have the responsibility to raise the intellectual and maturity bar and work to compromise (please listen up democrats and republicans). Co-parenting does not have to be an oxymoron. Rather, by learning and practicing the Dos and Don’ts of co-parenting for parents you and your ex can turn the conflict-filled upsetting event of divorce into an opportunity to create new ways to raise wonderful kids.