Getting along with an ex-spouse is a skill many divorcees struggle to master. After all, divorce is rarely free from contention and resentment. However, if you share children with your ex and both intend to be involved in their lives, it’s imperative you set aside old differences for their well-being.
Divorce is hard for everyone involved, but especially for children caught in the middle. Research has shown, however, that the quality of the relationship between co-parents has a strong influence on the mental and emotional well-being of their kids.
Playing nice with your ex may be easier said than done, but it is possible to develop an amicable relationship to navigate joint custody together. By adhering to these three tips, you and your ex can successfully enable your children to flourish:
1. Leave resentments in the past
Putting anger aside is likely the most challenging aspect of co-parenting with your ex. But it’s okay if you dislike your ex-partner or still have lingering pain. The important thing is that you never let your emotions dictate your behavior.
Avoid saying negative things about your ex to your kids, as this may make them feel as though they have to pick sides. Air your grievances elsewhere, such as with a therapist or trusted friend.
2. Keep things business-like
Treating your ex with the neutrality of a business colleague is a great way to take emotions out of the equation. Respectful and business-like communication that is centered exclusively around your kids will allow you to work together peacefully.
Try to frame statements as requests instead of demands and listen to what your ex has to say. You don’t always have to agree with them but keeping the lines of communication open will show your child that you and your ex can still work together for them.
3. Work as a team
Consistency is vital for children that have to go back and forth between two homes. If possible, you and your ex should establish a similar set of rules, disciplinary actions and schedules for your child regardless of whose home they are at. Setting expectations together will help your child to adjust to the difficult transitions of divorce and avoid confusion. If a child
There’s no getting around it – co-parenting with an ex-partner is hard. However, by setting aside your differences and maintaining a united front, you can ensure your child’s happiness and stability.