Going through a divorce can bring the worst out of a couple that once promised each other forever. Your world might feel like it’s falling apart, and trying to co-parent when you’re struggling to simply keep going can be overwhelming. Learning to co-parent won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible. Use the five strategies below to start co-parenting with your former spouse.
1. Focus on the Children
By maintaining the focus on what’s best for your children, you can work toward providing as peaceful a home as possible for them. Providing them loving stability and structure will help ease them through this time of transition.
2. Communication is Essential
As you go through your divorce, your communication with your former spouse will inevitably suffer. It may be difficult to communicate with them; you may not want to talk to, or hear from them. However, it’s important that communication regarding the children is maintained, and that your children are not used as messengers (i.e., “Tell your father you have a recital on Friday.”) Communicate directly with your former spouse, finding creative ways to communicate to avoid conflict if necessary (text, email, letters, etc.)
3. Just the Facts
If you’re harboring resentment or have unfinished emotional business with your former spouse, the desire to express your emotional needs can feel overwhelming. Make a commitment to yourself that for the sake of your children’s well being, you’ll keep conversations focused on the issues.
4. Embrace Change
As you go through your divorce, there will be a great deal of change for yourself, your ex and your children. By expecting and embracing change, you’ll reduce the stress you feel when the unexpected presents itself.
5. Prioritize Your Health
Maintaining your health is important not only for you, but for your children as well. As they learn to cope with the changes in their family, having a healthy, happy, rested parent will help them adjust. Your children depend on you, and you owe it to them to give them your absolute best as a parent. Additionally, taking time to exercise and eat healthy will help you take the focus off of your divorce, and shift the focus back on to you moving forward, and making positive changes in your life.
As we go through a divorce, we mourn the relationship lost, and the dreams we had of the future. Although your former spouse is no longer your partner, they are still your child’s parent, and you will always be co-parents of the children you have together. Learning to get along and communicate will bring comfort to your children as they learn to cope with their parents’ divorce.
If you’re going through a divorce and struggling to co-parent effectively, call Family Connections Therapy today and let’s set up an appointment to talk.