Everyone involved in a separation or divorce is anxious and emotional, but children honestly often feel as if their entire world has been turned upside down.
With divorce cases having increased in the last few years, that phase, unfortunately, brings out the worst in us as people as well as parents. One becomes so bitter, and angry and a lot of blame games start cropping up, therefore, becoming blockers to good co-parenting.
If one makes a comparison to normal parenting, co-parenting with the types of feelings highlighted above makes it even more challenging. Children eventually become uncomfortable throughout the process and also after the divorce.
For their greatest well-being, children desire to have both parents to be involved in their lives whether together or separated.
I know it takes a lot of effort for both parents to reach a stage where they can claim their co-parenting relationship is doing well, but it is good to recognize what is working well instead of focusing on what is not.
Here are a few considerations parents can consider while co-parenting:
At the beginning of a separation, it can be extremely difficult. As a parent, you are still forming a new normal in terms of what you want from life, how things will be, and how to redefine your identity.
There is so much emotional chaos and mixed feelings and with all this happening in your life, you should stand strong for the sake of the kids.
Saying that the process is challenging, might not fully describe what you are going through. It will take so much courage to pull yourself through and remain strong.
In reference to a survivor of a separated family, Claudia Green (@coparentingwithclaudia), while defining cooperating said; “one thing that can make co-parenting less hard right now: stop being hard on yourself.You’re an emotional being in an emotional situation. It’s understandable to struggle with this.”
Understand that separation is never a simple process and transitioning through this phase is always filled with grief and hardship.
Focus on children
You won’t be able to co-parent successfully if you keep on arguing or waiting for every chance you get to pull down your ex.
Reviving open wounds and issues that occurred in the past will not help you look forward. Above all, what’s best for your child must be placed first.
Remember to communicate your needs and wants more clearly to both your children and ex-partner. The more there is respect, clarity, and directness in your communication, the more it will be easy for both of you.
Practice emotional intelligence and actively listen to what the other person has to say. Take turns instead of interrupting.
Positivity and therapy
Regardless of how much things may have gone to the south, including a positive manner of talking will impact positive co-parenting. Following mutually agreed-upon rules or giving compliments will greatly help.
On the other hand, seeking professional help from a parental therapist will help you open up and ease your grief and hardship brought by your separation.
You have probably heard that co-parenting is going to be very challenging but if you focus on what’s best for your kid/s whether or not as a unit, you’ll be a successful co-parent.
One of the most important things is to care for yourself during these tough times. It’s okay to grieve about your hurt with trustworthy friends and family. You can create a routine for yourself and remember not to be hard on yourself.
Let bygones be bygones
Reopening closed doors and talking about the same thing will never make your co-parenting easy.
You are already trying to heal from the heartache of ending this relationship.
It will take some time to adjust but if you keep thinking of the past, you’ll never see what awaits ahead.
Having witnessed the breakdown of my parent’s marriage and the effect it had on our family; I know it can be quite traumatic. Being a little kid, I was shocked, puzzled, or outraged.
Divorce is not something a child is able to process easily and women or sometimes even children may feel shame and blame themselves for the societal pressure.
As you co-parent, remember it is already difficult for children to accept that their parents will not live together.