Friday, November 15, 2019

Co-Parenting Strategies

Get Down To Business

In the aftermath of a divorce it may seem unthinkable to begin to build a new parenting relationship with an ex-spouse. But with effort, it can be done. Here are steps you can take to help ensure that your child can continue to know the love and care of both parents.

  • Base your new relationship with your ex on basic business principles. The same principles that guide work relationships.
  • Maintain your privacy and offer minimum self-disclosure.
  • Act courteously, set explicit rules for relating, establish clear boundaries.

Six Keys To Successful Co-Parenting

  • How you feel about your ex is less important than how you act toward him/her. Putting aside your negative feelings is definitely in the best interest of your child.
  • Respect your need for privacy and the other parent's too. The only information that needs to be shared between co-parents is that pertaining to their children.
  • Each parents' time with the child is sacred. Don't make or change plans for the time your child is scheduled to spend with your ex. Honor the pre-arranged schedule.
  • Each parent has the right to develop his/her own parenting styles. As long as no harm is being done, let your ex-spouse relate to your child as he/she sees fit.
  • Acknowledge what your ex-spouse has to offer your child. Remember the qualities that first attracted you. Those qualities still exist and are available to your child.
  • Expect to feel awkward and uncomfortable about this new way of relating. But keep affirming your commitment to the new relationship and eventually your ex will begin to play by the same rules.

What To Say, What Not To Say

  • Be clear about what you want.
    Don't say: "You're always late. Can't you pick up your son on time?"
    Try: "It seems to be difficult for you to get here at 3 on Sunday. I'd like you to be able to get here on time. Should we try a later pick-up time, like 5?"
  • Use "I" instead of "you" statements.
    Don't say "You never give the kids a bath when they are at your house."
    Try: "I often don't have time to bathe the kids on Sunday evening. It would help me if they got a bath before they came home."
  • Stay in the present. Don't bring up past failures when addressing an issue.
    Say: "do you plan to attend the children's parent-teacher conferences next week?" Leave off: "I know you've never managed to make it in the past."

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