Putting in a collaborative effort to raise your children is challenging for both divorced and non-divorced couples. But the fact that your children follow a different routine under your supervision, can often create disagreements with your co-parent.
At the end of the day, you and your ex-spouse want to create as much consistency as you can in your child’s long-and short-term schedule. So, considering co-parenting apps, taking time out for yourself or seeking mediation can help relieve tension.
If you sense a pattern in the arguments you have about the day-to-day schedule or needs of your children, there are online tools to help you strengthen your communication. You can download calendar apps that can help you deal with last-minute scheduling changes. There are also financial apps that can create alerts about regular child support payments or give you a spot to request money for large expenses you make to maintain your child’s well-being.
You shouldn’t bottle up emotions, yet you should also lead by example in front of your children. Perhaps you’re mad that your ex doesn’t require your children to complete their weekend homework on Friday nights, a rule you created for your family before divorce. However, this is a discussion you need to have with them and not your children.
You could also be bogged with normal life stresses and you are bringing them into unrelated co-parenting disputes. If that’s the case, maybe next time you don’t have the kids over the weekend you can schedule a “self-care day” to go get that long overdue pedicure or massage. Taking time for yourself isn’t easy for parents to fit in, but it can help give you a change to reset with a lighter mood before returning to reality. But, if the occasional treat-yourself moments don’t seem to put you in a better mood, then you could consider seeing a therapist or psychologist.
Speaking of therapy, the last thing you probably want to do with your spouse is sit down and talk about how you can mend your relationship that you legally decided to dissolve. The reality is even if you aren’t married anymore, it’ important to stay civil for the sake of your children.
You don’t have to follow your ex on social media or be their best friend, but learning how to communicate effectively with them can go a long way. It often takes a neutral party to see where your communication strategy is lacking and make suggestions on how to take a new approach.
Working through co-parenting disputes isn’t an easy task, but taking new approaches to solve your issues now can help set you and your family up for stability for many years to come.