Separation and divorce are never easy on anyone, but as parents you should try to make this as painless as possible for your Children. Although this is an emotional time, which can cause people to act in a way that may be out of character, it is essential to try and override this temptation for their sake. You’re the adults here, so act like adults. Try to be as businesslike as possible, and learn not to react if he or she goads you. And remember: Although figuring out this co-parenting with your ex may be frustrating and stressful, it’s worthwhile—it’s for the benefit of your kids.
- Maintain your kids’ routines and make sure they’re not cut off from their usual friends and activities, such as team sports, even if one parent’s house isn’t in the same area.
- Anticipate events so that whatever your child might need for them isn’t left at the other parent’s home—or if forgotten, arrange to get the items without making a big deal about it.
- Consider keeping sets of seasonal clothing in both homes. Prevent a situation where your ex drops off your child at school after the first snowfall of the year in a lightweight autumn jacket because all the winter gear is at your place.
- Never denigrate your ex in front of your kids—in fact, say positive things about him or her whenever you can. Your children love both of you, so don’t make them feel confused about this.
- Accept that your ex may parent differently than you do, and never comment on these differences to your child. As long as both parents agree on the big issues, such as discipline and homework schedules, let the little things go.
- Never have your child act as a messenger to your ex. Find the least confrontational ways for your adult-to-adult communication and keep the kids out of it.
What have you found works—or doesn’t work—for you in co-parenting with your ex?