After going through a divorce, it may be difficult dealing with your ex, but if you have children, it is inevitable. If you and your ex-spouse share parental responsibilities, it is important to figure out a way to co-parent successfully.
According to Healthline, children of cooperative parents remain close to both mom and dad, and they have fewer behavioral problems. It may be hard, but putting aside your differences is important for your children.
Tips to co-parenting
One of the keys to successful co-parenting is communication. It should be direct, respectful, clear and brief, but it is important to be able to discuss details and issues regarding your children. Listening to your ex is also important.
Positive reinforcement and supporting each other go a long way in showing respect and demonstrating to your children what positive parenting looks like. Supporting each other also means coming up with agreed-upon rules and enforcing them at your respective homes.
The importance of a parenting plan
Having a parenting plan helps with co-parenting, as it lays out expectations, sets rules and outlines schedule details. The Massachusetts Association of Family and Conciliation Courts outlines some of the things to include in a parenting plan:
- Schedule of when each parent has children, including breaks and holidays
- Details about pick up and drop off times and locations
- Scheduling of dentist and other appointments for the children
- Advance notice for vacations
- What occurs if one parent is unable to watch kids during scheduled time
- How to share birthdays, holidays and other important dates
One thing to keep in mind when developing a parenting plan is that children thrive on routine and consistency. You can also modify it at any time if something is not working, or a child’s needs change.