Couples generally separate or divorce because their relationship is no longer healthy or functional. Spouses and non-marital romantic partners often recognize that they no longer have a positive dynamic and prefer to move on to a more positive living arrangement.
However, when those who choose to end their relationships have children with one another, the process of splitting up isn’t as straightforward as it tends to be when children aren’t affected by the end of a romantic partnership. They will almost certainly continue to spend time with one another frequently, even if it is just to manage custody exchanges, school events and birthdays.
When parents are hostile to one another, that can make the situation much more stressful for the entire family. How can parents start rebuilding their relationship to work cooperatively with each other?
Agree to keep the focus on the children
One of the first and most important steps in finding common ground with a co-parent involves reframing the relationship to make the children the focus at all times. Instead of viewing someone as a partner who didn’t follow through with their promises, co-parents can start viewing one another as a crucial source of support for the children and also each other.
Whenever a co-parent starts slipping into negativity about the other parent, they could try to remind themselves about how the other parent shows up for the children and how they enrich the children’s life.
Work cooperatively to bring out the best in the children
Divorce or parental separation will inevitably lead to emotional challenges for the children and the family. It can be difficult for everyone in the family to adjust to a shared custody arrangement. The kids might have some difficulty at school or start acting out for their siblings or parents.
Parents will need to focus on their children’s best characteristics and work together to help the kids process the change in family circumstances. They need to trust one another to do what’s best for the children. Parents that frequently communicate to highlight their children’s achievements and positive qualities can quickly rebuild a report in many cases by prioritizing what is best about their children.
Create and adhere to specific parenting rules
Little disagreements can lead to major parenting challenges. Is there a curfew for the older children in the family? Does the family have rules that relate school performance to mobile device use? Parents will have an easier time being supportive toward one another and cooperative on parenting issues when they have agreed to specific terms regarding how they will discipline and support their children.
The relationship that co-parents have with one another will have a profound impact on their children, so it is usually best for everyone if parents can find ways to cooperate and work together. Adjusting one’s approach to co-parenting and attitude toward a co-parent can make a huge difference for one’s kids if their other parent is fit and co-parenting is either a choice or an inevitability. With that said, this adjustment can be tough, especially if you are unsure of whether your rights – and your kids’ rights – are being sufficiently respected. If you’re struggling to transition into a co-parenting situation, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance at any time.