How to Partner with Your Coparent
Divorce and separation can have a negative impact on your child, especially when the conflict continues after the breakup.
Divorce and separation can have a negative impact on your child, especially when the conflict continues after the breakup. But there several ways you can parent with your ex in a positive and constructive way.
Plan with Purpose
One of the most important things to do with a coparent is to plan with purpose. Because you have a child together, you will have to plan how to parent as well as how you share custody.
Children generally do better with consistent environments and rules, so it’s important to decide early on a shared set of rules, including when bedtime is, what punishments will be, what is off-limits, and so on. Setting a schedule can also help make things easier for all involved. Try to agree on a custody situation that benefits everyone, even though that may be difficult. In the long run, your child will benefit from knowing which parent they will be with at what time.
Communicate with Care
How and when you communicate with your former spouse matters, especially when it comes to raising your children. The one thing that you never want to do is use your child as a messenger. For one, that puts your child in a stressful, awkward situation. Instead, it’s important to communicate one-on-one with your ex about your child and their needs.
Try adapting a business-like tone, imagining your ex as a work colleague. That gives you a bit of distance while also keeping your interactions positive and respectful. You should try and keep your communications focused solely on your child, so that you don’t bring up any hurt feelings or contentious subjects.
Heal Your Own Emotional Wounds
One of the best ways to develop a healthy relationship with your ex-spouse so that you can parent as a team is by healing your own emotional wounds. No matter the reason you are separated or divorced from your ex, the breakup of a relationship can have a negative impact on your mental health. Stress, depression, anxiety, or anger are all normal things that come out of the breakup of one of most important relationships in your life. But the last thing you want to do is take out those negative emotions on your child or use your child as a way to vent your emotions about your ex.
Talking with friends can help to sort out your feelings, or you might seek professional help in the form of a therapist or therapy group for solo parents so you can work on healing yourself in a positive way. One result of your healing is you will be better equipped to interact and coparent with your ex.
By employing these strategies, you will be able to partner with your coparent in way that is positive and constructive, which will make you and your child happier in the end.