Divorce affects millions of kids each year. Co-parenting creates challenges that divorcees must address in order to be effective raising their children. While no one plan fits all situations, the key is to remain child-centric with your approach. Pittsburgh-based writer Deesha Philyaw, author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive In Two Households After Divorce, has outlined with her ex-husband a handful of strategies to create healthy children after a divorce.
Respect Your Ex-Spouse’s Role As A Parent
While your personal relationship with your spouse may have failed, you must respect their role as a parent. Your children must be free to form a guilt-free, solid relationship with your ex-spouse. Do not speak ill about your ex-spouse in front of your children; this behavior just creates confusion for children.
Find Emotional Support
While you are processing your divorce and place in the world, do not place the burden on the children. Model confidence for them and seek out your emotional support outside your immediate family. This frees your children to grow without the burden of guilt.
Coordinating children, homework, rides, and responsibilities across two households is challenging. Create plans and tools that allow both parents to stay informed, share responsibilities, and notify each other of changing situations.
Your ex-spouse may have a different parenting style. Do not resist the differences, but find space to discuss expectations. Avoid confrontation, but if necessary try working with a counselor to create a better parenting partnership.
Slow Down With New Relationships
Divorcees often include new love interests in their family too soon. New significant others can be supportive, but also confusing to your children as well as stressful to your ex-spouse. Take time to let all your new relationships stabilize before introducing a new love interest to the mix.
Image Source: Let Grow Therapy