8 not so easy things to remember as a co-parent.
- Be kind. It’s not easy. Be kind to the person you’re divorcing.
- Don’t say what you’re thinking. Sometimes you’re thinking, “Oh my god this person is an idiot, how could I have ever married them?” or, “What are they thinking? This is ridiculous!” Don’t say it. It’s not gonna help your case, it’s not gonna help your child, it’s not gonna help your relationship with your co-parent. So keep it inside and let it out on the way home when you’re by yourself.
- Keep an open hand. Translation: don’t be stingy with your child. If your co-parent makes a request, and if it works for you and your schedule, and it’s not all of the time then consider being flexible. For example, if they’ve got some family coming into town and they’re asking for an extra day with your child, consider their request. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, just consider it. Hopefully the same would be done for you know. Remember when you hold things closed fisted it slips out of your hand. Some days you master beautifully and others you won’t and it’s okay Do to the best you can each day.
- Remember that your children love you both. Do your best to encourage a healthy relationship with their other parent. This may be difficult if you came out of a toxic relationship but remember that your children are a part of you both. It’s good for them to have a relationship with their parent.
- Be flexible. It kinda goes back to keeping an open hand. It doesn’t mean you have to constantly change things around whenever your co-parent wants it, but if there are times when it works then consider it. For example, if your co-parent is sick and you need to keep the kids, or maybe they ask you to take the kids to a makeup piano lesson on your day, consider being flexible and see how that works for you. Always remember to be thinking about the best interest of your child. Ask yourself, “Is doing this in their best interest?” Sometimes the answer will be yes and other times it will be no.
- Remember, they parent differently than you. Remember when you still lived together and were like, “OMG what the f**k are they doing?!” They parent differently than you. Don’t expect them to parent the same way or to have your routines and do things like you do at your house.
- Create new traditions around this new family structure. Whether you are in a newer relationship, or it’s just you and your children, create new traditions and new memories. Create things that are fun for you and the kids and have nothing to do with your co-parent. Traditions are wonderful, they get kids excited and will bring back great memories as they get older.
- Have routines and schedules for your house. Do what works best for you in your house. If there is chaos at your co-parent’s house at least when the kids come home to you they know there are routines, schedules, rules, and boundaries. They know what to do and what is expected of them. This creates a little container for them to be themselves. You create safety.
It is not easy to coparent. Whether you are coparenting with the best co-parent in the world or the worst, it is not easy. But if you keep these things in mind you can manage it. It does get better with time and with time you’ll get better at it too.
If you think there’s something that should be added to this list please comment below.