1. I am a great parent
Your co-parent may do everything in their power to provoke you, from calling names to telling you how horrible of a parent you are. It’s up to you whether you choose to respond or not; however, we recommend staying outside of this type of communication and setting a boundary. The reason they may try to pull you down is because they have a motive to hurt you and they know this may be a sore spot for you. Only you can determine what kind of parent you are, as their opinion of you does not matter.
2. I am only in control of my response, not my co-parent
If your co-parent knows your triggers then they may do everything in their power to make you come on unleashed. They feed off of your emotional reactions as an ego trip. When your co-parent attempts to do this it’s best to find your calm and assess before you respond.
3. I accept my co-parent is not perfect
Your co-parent will not be perfect. Heck, no one is for that matter. Unless this is a repetitive habit they continue to repeat, finding patience will benefit you greatly. They may cook differently than you, dress the kids in unmatched clothing, or forget the kids had to be at the dentist on their parenting day. Encouragement can go a long way with a co-parent versus attacking their style of parenting because it is different from yours. As long as the children are not in harm's way we need to accept there may be differences in each household.
4. I am going to get through this, I just need a minute
We get it they are testing your patience day in and day out. You may not even be over your divorce yet and your emotions are at an all time high. Making time for your self-care and self-love will be vital to healing and keeping your cool when it comes to co-parenting. Also, practicing the power of pause before responding will save you from an emotional reaction.
5. I will not waste might time arguing, my time is valuable
If your ex loves to argue, then you’re still stuck in your marital dynamic with them but absent of the marital status. Co-parenting requires a transitioning of the marital communication style into a businesslike communication style of raising children together. When your ex tries to start an argument or flip a conversation around by gaslighting the truth, most likely your ex is self-projecting their internal struggles onto you. It’s best to stay outside of the power struggle and redirect the conversation back to the children’s needs.
6. I am worthy of respect
You deserve to be treated with the highest regard of respect. If your marriage was unhealthy, this may have shattered your self-esteem making it harder to voice your concerns and perspectives. Believing in yourself and knowing your value will help you articulate what’s in the best interest of the children with your co-parent. By speaking up, you teach your co-parent how to respect you based on how you respect yourself.
7. I will use facts, not emotion to communicate
Your co-parent may have your blood boiling with frustration, but at the end of the day this won’t resolve parenting concerns. When dealing with a challenging co-parent it’s best to remove the emotion and stick to the facts. This will allow you and your co-parent to find a resolution versus going back and forth with verbal insults and attacks.
8. My new life is not his/her business
Moving on in your new life can be tough when you’re used to sharing everything with your co-parent in your past relationship. However, your new lifestyle is no longer their concern. They do not have the privilege to ask who you are dating, how you feel emotionally, or what you had for breakfast. Nor are they allowed to inquire about your personal life with the children. Keeping your new life private will do wonders for your co-parenting relationship. The less you tell, the better, unless of course it involves the children.
9. I don’t have all the answers and that is okay
Sometimes life will throw you a curve ball out of nowhere and you won’t know what the heck happened. Guess what?! It’s okay. You don’t need to have all the answers figured out. Going through a transition will have its ups and downs but you will get through it! Take it one day, one step at a time and don’t forget to give yourself a break along the way.
10. Tomorrow is a new day
Co-parenting may bring it’s challenges but know that it is only a temporary pain. If it doesn't work itself out today, try again tomorrow when everyone is calmer. Or, if you and your co-parent are unable to get out of a rut, then maybe a neutral party is the best solution in creating healthy boundaries and communication channels. Feel free to send us a message for a free consultation so you and your children can have the peace you deserve.