Divorce takes an emotional and financial toll on you and your former spouse, but your children tend to experience much greater emotional turmoil. They do not understand the process, what is happening or why they have to live without one of their parents.
Often, your children believe the divorce is in some way their fault. However, adopting effective co-parenting strategies can significantly ease your children’s burdens.
Put your feelings aside
You may have emotional pain from your divorce, but you should never share this with your children. You also need to put it aside when you deal with your former spouse. Find healthy ways to address this pain, such as seeking professional counseling or developing coping mechanisms. Your children should not feel your pain at any time.
Pursue open communication
Next, you need to be open and honest with your former spouse. Open communication requires both effective listening and communicating. You need to work together on how you raise your children, what is going on in their lives and what your expectations are. Also, you may need to guide your parents on what your children need and when and help them become effective parents. Open communication is vital.
Build a co-parenting plan
During the divorce process, you should create a parenting plan. This plan outlines general things like visitation schedules, financial responsibilities, etc. However, you need to work with your former spouse on your children’s educations, medical decisions, religion, preferred communication methods and expectations and other decisions that impact their lives. Creating a thorough co-parenting plan can prevent many disputes.
Like most of your relationships, you will experience challenges, but if you adopt these strategies and learn dispute-resolution techniques, you work toward an amicable relationship and an effective co-parenting environment.