When it comes to co-parenting, it’s quite common for separated and divorced parents to bring unhealthy communication patterns into their new co-parenting relationship. The high-conflict conversations from unresolved emotional wounds tend to linger, even though you and your ex have jointly made the decision to part ways for better days.
To have a collaborative co-parenting relationship, it involves a mindset shift in order to transition from a romantic dynamic into a business-like partnership of raising children. However, this transition may come with challenges, as it can be hard to let go of the past turmoil while coming to terms that your co-parent will not be exiting your life.
Your ex is your new co-pilot for navigating and making decisions about what's best for your children’s welfare.
As you transition from one home to two homes, the health of your co-parenting relationship will have a lasting impact on your children’s well-being more than the divorce. Helping your children process their emotions around the transition will be vital for their psychological and emotional development without oversharing your emotional distress of the divorce.
Here Are Five Ways To Transform You Co-Parenting Relationship:
1.Leave The Emotional Wounds Behind
While the emotional wounds may run deep, they won’t serve your co-parenting relationship any good. Letting go can be challenging but it’s necessary to heal and strive towards happiness. You don’t have to forgive your ex for their actions that led to the divorce, but finding forgiveness for your own inner peace will allow you to be a better co-parent.
Take your charged energy and emotions that you have towards your ex and apply that energy by transforming your own life. When you can turn your pain into a source of power, you are able to uncover your inner truth that makes you feel alive and grateful for today’s experience. Discover a new hobby, meditate, sing your heart out, journal, take long walks, listen to music, or do whatever fills your soul to become the best version of yourself. Who says you can’t make the ultimate comeback after heartache? Not us!
2.Stick to Facts Over Feelings
The residual feelings you have from your marriage are now your responsibility to process, as it will not benefit bringing up in your co-parenting relationship. When it comes to co-parenting, it is in your best interest to stick to strictly the facts. The facts include pick-up and drop-off times, education or medical decisions, parental responsibilities for specific child needs, following a planned schedule, and etc.
Keeping to the facts will prevent you and your co-parent from experiencing lots of additional discord and headaches. The facts don’t lie and after all this a business-like relationship now. And, if you have a co-parent who seems to conveniently forget the facts, then keeping written documents via text message or email will support your co-parenting partnership where they verbally agreed to comply and meet their child’s needs.
3.Create A Solid Parenting Plan
A parenting plan will be your best friend when it comes to honoring your co-parenting relationship. It is a contractual agreement that holds each parent accountable for their parental duties and responsibilities. This will give you peace of mind and keep the co-parenting relationship healthy and children-centered. While not all agreements that need to be made for the children’s lives will be included in the parenting plan, the most important factors will be.
4.Set Healthy Boundaries
The co-parenting relationship will entail new boundaries to support everyone’s well-being for the greater good. For example, your new personal life is no longer a part of your ex’s business And, if they inquire in regards to your whereabouts when it's not your parenting time, you are not obligated to divulge information about what goes on in your life. Your co-parent’s only concern shall be direct reflection of the children’s needs.
Also, boundaries may assess whether or not you and your ex want to speak outside of co-parenting topics or how often you will speak in regards to the children. However, for best co-parenting practices keeping communication minimal, such as once a week, prevents less conflict and life stressors. During emergency situations, address which is the best form of communication and time allowance for a response from your co-parent to eliminate heightened emotion during times of uncertainty.
5.Hire A Co-Parenting Coach
If you believe you and your ex cannot see eye-to-eye no matter how many times you try to resolve things or you feel the power struggle is too deep, then hiring an outside neutral party can help create a healthy co-parenting relationship. Your inner peace is essential to being the best parent you can be to your children and reducing toxicity in your personal life. After all, you dissolved your marriage for a reason - to leave the conflict behind.
To learn more about our co-parenting services, click here for a complimentary consultation.