Getting a divorce is just the first part of your journey as a newly single individual and parent. Now that you’re raising your child separately from your ex-spouse, you have to make many decisions on your own while also making sure that you don’t violate your custody agreement or overstep boundaries that would influence your child’s relationship with the other parent.
As someone who wants to be a good co-parent, there are some things you can do to reduce conflict and encourage a better relationship moving forward. Here are three.
- Communicate directly with your ex
The first thing to remember is that your child is not a messenger. If you need to talk to the other parent, you need to reach out to them directly. This will help you avoid any miscommunication and will keep your child out of your adult conversations.
- Know when to pick your battles
The other parent is likely to do something you’re not happy about at one time or another. If this isn’t a life-changing mistake or a direct violation of your custody agreement, sit down and think about if having a conflict is worth the trouble. Whether it’s signing your child up for an extracurricular activity or taking them out to eat regularly against your wishes, you need to decide if fighting those decisions is worth it.
- Respect your ex-spouse’s parenting time
Being respectful of your ex-spouse’s parenting time is important if you want them to do the same for you. Give them space to parent. If you need to call and check on your kids, set up times to do so in advance. At the very least, make sure you’re not interrupting when you do call.
Speaking of custody time, you should always be sure to drop your kids off on time. Unless there are unforeseen events, you do have a contract that you have to follow. If you’re going to be late, call or make other arrangements to make sure your children arrive as soon as possible.
These are three tips to help you be a better co-parent. This is a new chapter in your life, but you can adapt to it.