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You want your kids to be healthy and happy, and you want to do what is best for them. Raising kids can already be quite challenging, but if you have just gone through a separation or divorce and now have to figure out how you are going to co-parent your child with your ex, it can be even more challenging to figure out how you are going to go about this. Although it can be difficult, you can find helpful information and resources that you can use to figure this out. Below are some helpful ideas that can hopefully be of use to you in trying to navigate this difficult journey.
Remember that you are not going through this alone; “according to Pew Research, by the age of 9 more than one-in-five children experience a parental break-up.” So, there are a lot of parents that are going through the same issues and probably many who have figured out what the best way for them to co-parent is, so try and stay positive you can figure this out.
The Relationship With Your Ex Needs to Change
Your relationship with your ex is going to be different. You are going to need to acknowledge this and realize that it means that you will be having a new type of relationship with them, which is that of co-parenting. This means you are going to need to leave the past behind and work on focusing on this new relationship where you are focused on the kids.
Good Communication is Essential
You are going to need to talk about things with each other, and you are probably not always going to agree, but you are going to have to do it if you are going to co-parent effectively. Remember to respect each other and to listen to what the other person is saying. Also, remember to stay focused on the main point of your conversation, which is to discuss topics about your children. Do not end up in a conversation about your relationship or each other because that will not be productive.
Keep it Between You and Your Ex
In order to make the situation the best for the child, do not say negative things about the other parent when the child is around and can hear them. Your child loves both of you, and if they hear you saying mean comments about their other parent, it can hurt them. Also, don’t put a child in the position of making adult decisions or being in between an argument you are having with your ex. Your child should not have to deal with adult issues because you and your ex are unable to make it work. If you are putting your child first, you need to let them be a child and not put them in the middle of it because it won’t be good for their well-being.
Both parents have rights in these types of situations, and there are resources available that can help if, for example, you need help with father’s rights. Remember, the goal is to do what is best for your child. Also, make sure you try to find healthy ways to cope with the stressful situation you are going through as well as the stress of being a parent.