When you have children with an ex-spouse, it can be frustrating to have to coparent with them. You may not agree with everything that they do, and animosity between you might still cause disputes.
For the benefit of your children, it’s helpful to work on having a positive relationship with your ex. Here are five coparenting tips that may help you both have a better relationship and raise your children well together.
1: Communicate as a team
The first thing to do is to remember that you’re a team. You need to keep open lines of communication, so you are both informed about important things that happen in your children’s lives. If you have questions or concerns, talk to the other parent, don’t use your children as messengers.
2: Be flexible
Next, be flexible. Is the other parent running later than usual? Talk to them if you’re having issues with late drop-off or pick-up times. If they are late because of work or other responsibilities, try to be reasonable and flexible. Not every mistake has to result in a dispute.
3: Focus on what’s equitable, not what’s equal
Sometimes, what would be equal is not fair. It may seem equal to have your child half the time, but if the other parent has guests coming into town or you know you won’t be home to provide care for your kids, it’s better to be equitable and to share that time with your ex appropriately.
4: Avoid talking badly about your ex
One big issue for some divorced couples is talking negatively about their exes. Don’t do that, because it just builds animosity and makes it hard to let go of the past. You never want to say anything negative when it could get back to your children, because it may hurt them more than you know.
5: Don’t argue in front of your children
Finally, don’t argue in front of your children. Instead, focus on being calm and present around them. If you need to discuss a complaint with your ex, set aside time when your children won’t be present.
These are five coparenting tips that may help as you learn to parent together while divorced. With the right support and approach, you can make this situation better.