We all know that parenting is not easy. It can be the sweetest blessing for a family, but it comes with its own set of challenges. It is one of the worlds hardest as well as a never-ending job Raising a child is a hard and challenging task and requires a lot of good parenting skills, and the task of parenting gets even tougher when you have already decided to divorce and co-parent your child. If parenting is tough and hard, successfully co-parenting is even tougher and harder.
It can be very challenging to work with your ex-spouse as you are no longer together. It might not be easy for you. But it is important for you to ensure that your kids do not suffer the consequences of your failed marriage. It is important that you communicate with your ex-spouse and mutually find a way to work together. Finding a balance is very important as it may affect your child lives’ adversely.
For successfully co-parenting your child, here are a few do’s and don’ts.
Use the following tips and make the job of successfully co-parenting easier.
Do’s of co-parenting
Following are the things that you should do if you are co-parenting:
1. Communicate with your co-parent:
Good communication is the key to success in life and relationships. No matter how much you hate your ex, it is important for you to maintain healthy communication with them. Discuss all the issues and problems your child is facing. You can also communicate through email, SMS, voicemail, or letters if you don’t want to have a face-to-face conversation with your co-parent. You both can mutually create a schedule together and upload it online.
2. Rules should be the same for both households:
It is very important to set certain rules and restrictions for your children. Make certain rules for your child’s meal time, bedtime, and play time. You should also set certain restrictions regarding his/her study time and school projects. It is important for both of you to ensure that your child is not breaking any of these rules. Make them understand the value of these rules and no matter if they are at other parent’s home; they should follow these rules everywhere.
3. Balance the time:
Both of you want to spend maximum time with your child. Therefore, it is essential to balance and divide this time. Make a plan for the vacation and holidays in advance. If your child is with your ex-spouse, do not disturb them or call them, again and again, asking about your child. Remember your ex- spouse’s time with your child is theirs and you should not interfere at that time. Respect the time with the other parent.
4. Set a few boundaries:
You should set limits and boundaries with your ex. This will make your co-parenting more effective and will also help you in handling the job of co-parenting with much ease. Make your child a top priority but also keep things professional with the other co-parent.
5. Create a family plan:
Decide on the family members that can meet your child. Mutually decide and plan accordingly.
Don’ts of co-parenting
Following are the things that you should not do if you are co-parenting:
1. Don’t use your child as a weapon against your ex:
Don’t force your children to think the way you do and never bash your former partner in front of your kids. Don’t use them as a weapon to hurt your ex. This will affect your child emotionally.
2. Don’t sabotage or destroy the child’s relationship with another parent:
Just because your marriage is over doesn’t mean that you will insult or speak ill about your partner in front of your child. Let your kids decide with whom they want to have what kind of relationship. In case, your kids are young; it is very important for them to have a healthy relationship with both the parents. Don’t try to destroy the relationship with the other parent.
3. Don’t burden your child:
It is very important that you should keep your child out of the conflict as much as possible. They are not mature enough to deal with the grown-up problems you are handling. Let them enjoy their life. Do not burden them or ask them to choose or take a side between both the parents. This can lead to conflicts which will affect your child’s mental as well as emotional health.
4. Don’t argue in front of your child:
Fighting in front of your kids will have negative effects on your child and can scar them for life. The arguments and disagreements can affect your child’s mental health and development. These negative effects include serious issues such as anxiety, depression, and problems in academics, self-harm. It may affect the development of the brain in infants. Therefore, it is very important for you both to maintain a healthy relationship in front of your child. You should never argue or fight in front of your child. Otherwise, you yourself would be keeping your child’s emotional, social, and behavioral development at risk.
5. Don’t transfer your hurt feelings onto your child:
It is not just you who will have to deal with the problems of failed relationships. Your kids are also dealing with the loss of family. Separation is going to change their life. This is the time when both of you should try to find a way to keep things stable for your child. You should never transfer your hurt or angry feelings onto your child. Don’t even try to manipulate your child by transferring your feelings towards your co-parent.
6. Do not blame your ex. Discuss with them:
Don’t stay quiet if you think there is anything wrong with your ex’s co-parenting style. Or if you think the other co-parent has broken any agreement, discuss with them. Don’t start blaming them and fighting with them. Communicate with your partner whenever you feel it is necessary. Try to improve your communication with your ex. Don’t bring that anger and bitterness when discussing your child as this may lead to conflicts which will further affect your child’s mental health.
7. Don’t use your kids as messengers after divorce:
Don’t involve your kids in this process. Never use them as a messenger or a spy. Don’t ask for a report if your child is spending time with the other parent. Don’t use them as a spy to tell you what’s going on in the other co-parent’s home. This is something that you should never do. You should never use them as a messenger even if the message is trivial.
Successfully co-parenting children can be incredibly difficult. But you have to manage it somehow and do it for the sake of your kids. Follow the above do’s and don’ts to create a healthy co-parenting environment for your children. But if you think you’re unable to deal with your ex-spouse, consider seeking professional help. You may take the help of any family member, or you may speak to a psychologist for a counseling session. Remember, successfully co-parenting is not that easy. It demands a lot of efforts from both of you.
Ummul Fidha works as a Growth Assistant at AirTract.Com, a social platform wherein people ask any questions, write and read articles, share knowledge and experience. A Math graduate, who turned her passion into digital marketing, is now keen to develop SEO friendly content, and build website traffic. She loves to dedicate her leisure time in creative stuff and design arts. www.airtract.com