Following your divorce, one of the most complicated aspects of your new life is bound to be co-parenting. Though you and your former spouse may have differing perceptions regarding how to parent, you must work together to make the transition as seamless and stress-free for your children as possible.
What can you do to help your children navigate their new, two-household lives? Better by Today provides tips for effective coparenting after divorce.
Agree to maintain the exact expectations, rules, consequences and routines in both homes
One of the best tips for successful co-parenting is to maintain the exact expectations, rules and consequences in both households. When coparents can do this consistently without arguing, it reduces problem behaviors in children and teens.
As for routines and structure, coparents should also strive to keep these consistent in both homes. That means enforcing the same bedtime and wake-up times, homework schedules, and mealtimes. In doing so, parents can reduce the risk that their children experience separation anxiety from the other parent.
Keep children in the same school district.
Though tempting to have your children switch schools to be closer to yours or your coparent’s post-divorce home, you should avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary. Continuity in terms of campus, friends, teachers and environment is crucial to helping your children adjust to their new situations.
Facilitate, nourish and nurture relationships between your children and their extended family members
Sadly, it is not uncommon for divorcees to punish their children and extended family members by disallowing contact between the parties. Not only is this a selfish thing to do but also, it can cause your children additional unnecessary pain. During the divorce and in the years to come, you want to allow as many people as possible to love your children.
Co-parenting will not always be easy. However, by cooperating when and where you can, you can make the process as stress-free and successful as possible.