Co-Parenting Through Challenges When You’re No Longer a Couple
Co-parenting after a breakup isn’t always comfortable. That’s especially true if your relationship didn’t end on amicable terms.
If you have a child together with your ex-spouse or partner, it’s essential to work together and practice co-parenting through challenges. Those challenges will come, no matter what. Raising a child can often feel like a roller coaster. It’s crucial for you both to be on the same page as much as possible.
How can you start dealing with co-parenting difficulties and make the experience easier on everyone — especially your child?
It’s Business, Not Personal
Co-parenting doesn’t mean you have to love or even like your former partner. After all, you broke up for a reason.
But, don’t let your distaste from them bleed through in the way you parent your child. Instead, an excellent approach is to treat your ex like a business partner. You both have the same goal; raising your child to be healthy and be the best person possible. So, focus on that goal rather than your feelings for each other.
Speak to your co-parent how you would speak to a co-worker. Don’t let things fall back into personal problems, or it could impact the way that you parent.
Work Through Past Wounds
If you’re having a hard time co-parenting through challenges, you could be holding onto some past issues. If your ex’s presence alone gets to you, or you’re not willing to be flexible with their opinions, it’s best to try to work out some unresolved issues.
That isn’t always easy, but if it gives you the ability to put your child first, it’s necessary to clear the air.
Observe Your Child
Take the time to notice how your child reacts around their other parent. Do they seem uncomfortable? Do they not want to say or do the “wrong” thing? How you act around your ex could impact how your child views them, and vice versa. If there is negativity or hostility between the two of you, it could cause extra stress and uncertainty within your child.
No matter what your personal feelings might be, it is usually for the best to encourage a positive, healthy relationship between your child and their other parent. They shouldn’t have to deal with guilt as they go from one parent to the other. That can make it incredibly hard if one parent has more custody than the other. No matter what the visitation schedule is, you should always make sure your child is comfortable.
That said, it’s essential to show respect for your co-parent, even when they aren’t around. Don’t talk negatively about him/her in front of your child.
First, your child could repeat what you say and cause even more turmoil between you and your ex. More importantly, though, it could create confusion within your child’s mind. You never want them to feel unsafe or unloved by their other parent. Try to show respect as much as possible.
Having Trouble With Co-Parenting?
If co-parenting through challenges feels like a challenge on its own, it’s not hopeless. Co-parenting counseling can help you and your ex learn how to work together more peacefully and respectfully.
Remember, every decision you make as a co-parent is to be in your child’s best interest. If you’re having trouble pushing your issues aside, you might consider counseling to get through the next several years of your child’s life together.
Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment or visit my page about co-parenting counseling to learn more. Chances are, even if your relationship didn’t end well, you can both still be great parents by working together, showing respect, and moving past old wounds.