After divorce, many couples with children opt for co-parenting. In fact, a 2018 study shows that 40 percent of U.S. states aim to provide children equal time with each parent, encouraging the co-parenting trend.
That said, it can be difficult for divorced parents — especially those with different parenting styles — to agree on how to raise their children. If you and your ex struggle with this, below are effective ways to co-parent kids.
Keep children out of your issues
Do not push children to choose sides or use them as messengers for any arguments between you and your ex. Not only is it inappropriate for children to get involved in adult problems, but they also love both parents and don’t want to see one as the “good guy” and the other as the “bad guy.”
It’s tough for parents with clashing parenting styles to set consistent rules for their kids. However, consistency provides children stability and good examples to follow. Otherwise, they’d be confused if one parent insists on serving waffles and bacon for breakfast while the other allows ice cream as a morning meal.
Use healthy methods of dealing with strong feelings
Your ex might do things to infuriate you or push your buttons. While feeling angry or annoyed is okay, you should not vent to your children or do anything else you may regret later. Talk to a good friend or therapist or practice relaxation techniques like meditation.
Practice civil communication with your ex
Even if you and your ex have unresolved issues between each other, keep conversations kid-focused and business-like. You can enlist a mediator/counselor for assistance if you struggle with maintaining civil communication.
Effective co-parenting helps you and your ex compromise while providing security and good role models for your children. If you have any questions about handling co-parenting issues, reach out to legal guidance for help.