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When you are no longer together with your children’s other parent, it can create a lot of challenges. Parenting when you live in two separate households is tricky, and it’s often tough on your children too. It can create negative feelings and might lead to arguments and disagreements, which could be further complicated if either of you remarries or blends with another family. Even though it can be challenging, there are things that you can do to help keep the peace and work together as a team, even still seeing yourselves as family, although you are no longer together.
Create Clear Boundaries and Rules
When you split from your partner, one of the first things that you will often need to do is define certain rules and boundaries. Getting custody arrangements put in place is important, and you also need to discuss how you’re going to handle various parenting issues. For many divorcing couples, a divorce mediation lawyer can be helpful. They can mediate between you and help to make arrangements, especially if you’re finding it difficult to do on your own. Clear rules and boundaries can make it easier to parent together even when you’re no longer in a relationship.
Put the Children First
The most important thing to remember when you’re co-parenting is that your children need to come first. You might have negative feelings toward your ex, but these need to be put aside for the sake of your children. When you can do that and resolve to work together to parent your children, it provides multiple benefits for them. It gives them more of a sense of security and consistency. It can also set a good example for them, showing that you’re able to solve problems together even if you’re not together romantically or even friends.
Listen to Your Kids
When their parents separate, it can be very difficult for children. Even when their parents have never really been together, it might be hard for them to see their peers in two-parent homes. It’s important to let your children have their say and make sure that they feel heard. Of course, there are some things that may not be realistic, such as your child wanting you to get back together. But you can still take their concerns seriously and offer explanations for why things have to be a certain way. They can often feel out of control, so it’s helpful to ensure they do have control over their lives in some ways.
Work as a Team
Working together as a team is the best way to co-parent. If you were capable of doing this when you were a couple, it may be easier to continue once you’re living apart, even if things might be a little different. However, even if you’ve had your disagreements before, you can still learn to work together, compromise, and come up with solutions that you’re both happy with.
Moving your children between two households might be difficult, but there are ways to help make it a smoother experience and keep them happy.