Divorce can be incredibly hard for both the parents and the kids. There are so many causes for concern, and many of those involve co-parenting. Especially for people who have rocky relationships with their ex-partners, worries may include financial issues, your ex’s parenting abilities, and possible resentment. If you’re concerned about your child’s well-being, check out these noteworthy parenting tips for divorced parents to help build a strong and healthy family dynamic.
Value the Quality of Time Over the Quantity
One of the most important co-parenting tips we can give you is to remember that the quality of time you spend with your child is much more important than the quantity. How many times per week or month you see your child doesn’t matter if you don’t spend this time in a meaningful way. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stress out too much about what exactly you’ll be doing together—not every visit has to be stuffed with something fun. Spending quality time together—time where you’re truly tuned into one another—is so much more important. Your kid truly believes you’re a superhero, so put away the technology and focus on your child.
Work on Communication
As hard as it may be, you need to update your ex-partner often. Your child should never be their primary source of information. Although it may be emotionally painful, it’s much healthier mentally and emotionally for you and your ex to keep each other informed rather than use your child as the messenger.
Grieve, and then Cope with Loneliness
This tip is for parents who may feel lonely when they have to spend time apart from their child. Let yourself grieve this temporary loss at first, but then you must learn to cope with it. Try not to let your child feel or see too much of this sadness—it will just make it harder on them. Be sure to fill the hours you have together with positive memories.
Make It a Team Effort
Again, though it may be difficult, both parents need to do their best to make co-parenting a team effort. Consistency is key for your child—rules, discipline, schedules, and educational requirements should be the same across the board. Learning flexibility and exposure to different perspectives are healthy for children, but constantly changing expectations can really confuse your child and lead to outbursts and meltdowns.
Finally, do what you can to stay hopeful. Although your relationship with your ex may not have been great, the overall partnership may improve later on. Trying to completely change another’s personality in a marriage is difficult, but after a divorce, you get to deal with and maybe even change discrete behaviors. Stay hopeful—things will get better.