Divorce can be a challenging process for everyone involved, even if the initial separation was amicable. Adjusting to life as a co-parent can also be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the concept. Along with your former spouse, your primary objective is to continue raising your children and stay involved in their lives. For this reason, it’s important to realize that being an ill-equipped co-parent can sully the relationship between you and your children.
Fortunately, the task of becoming an ideal co-parent depends on what you shouldn’t do. There is plenty of online advice detailing how you can become a great co-parent, but some parents may already believe that they are a suitable co-parent, or that they aren’t doing anything wrong. In this article, let’s explore three things you shouldn’t do as a successful co-parent.
Never Plan Anything Without Your Ex-Spouse
Communication is essential to establishing a healthy co-parenting relationship with your former spouse. Nonetheless, it can be tempting to plan events without notifying your ex-spouse. This lack of communication can lead to issues that can negatively affect your children. Hence, it’s paramount to make sure you form a strong line of communication with your former spouse.
You can’t expect your children to communicate with your ex-spouse on your behalf, primarily because it forces them to choose sides if a conflict arises. Before you plan anything, reach out to your ex-spouse to ensure that he or she is aware of your intentions, even if you feel that your asking is trivial.
Don’t Try to Overshadow the Other Parent
Co-parenting is essentially about respecting each other as parents and working together. Therefore, unless the court has specified that your former spouse is no longer your child’s legal parent, then you aren’t the only parent. Typical examples that exemplify this behavior include:
- Refusing to follow the rules the other parent has for your child.
- Not notifying your ex if you move or change your phone number.
- Traveling with your child without notifying the other parent of your whereabouts or contact information.
These behaviors signify that an individual does not respect their former spouse as a parent. Children experiencing their parents’ divorce should be able to coexist with each parent comfortably and without picking favorites.
Demand That Your Child Eliminate Ties With Ex’s and Their Family
Your children are a beautiful combination of you and their other parent’s family. As a result, your children deserve to spend time with both of their families undeterred, regardless of any tension you may have with the former.
When you are around your former spouse or their family, avoid demonstrating poor behavior as this can have negative effects on your children. Unless your child is in danger around one of their family members, it’s best to remain cordial when you are interacting with your former spouse and their family.
In conclusion, co-parenting is an activity based on teamwork. Successful co-parents place their differences aside for the best interests of their children. Although this may seem easier said than done, co-parents should avoid indulging in any of the harmful behaviors listed above to forge a healthy relationship with their children and former spouse.