Parenting is full of decisions large and small, from selecting a Florida pediatrician to enforcing a consistent bedtime schedule. Making these decisions as a happily married couple is challenging, and even more so if you are going through a divorce. Developing a practical parenting plan, even if the split is amicable, is daunting. Here are some tips for making co-parenting work.
According to Help Guide, joint custody gives children stability and security. One of the most difficult hurdles may be setting aside negative emotions and focusing on the kids. Venting to friends, parents or a therapist allows you to let off steam without putting your little ones in the middle. Set up a communication method that works for you and your ex so that you can communicate directly, rather than using the kids as messengers.
Children thrive when they have structure. Keeping the same bedtime routine, study times and other activities can help them acclimate to the new living arrangements. Make the transition from one household to the other easier by reminding them in advance that they will be visiting the other parent and helping them pack their bags. Keep basics at both homes, such as a toothbrush, pajamas and other daily necessities. This helps them feel more comfortable.
When communicating with your ex, keep it respectful and cordial. Address them as you would a colleague. Practicing quick stress relief techniques can help you stay in control when he or she pushes your buttons, or a disagreement becomes heated. When you disagree, keep the lines of communication open and learn about the benefits of compromise.
In the end, you both want what is best for your child. If the situation becomes untenable, a mediator can help you work things out in a constructive manner.