Parenting is hard work and coparenting can often be harder. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case, and there are several different ways that you can help make the process a bit easier. If you are struggling to coparent, here are five tips that you should keep in mind.
On average, first marriages that end in divorce last about eight years, which means that children in these relationships are often fairly young. This means that it’s important to work together and collaborate with your coparent about everything involved in their education and development. For example, both parents should collaborate together when it comes to choosing the best school for their children to ensure that it is the best choice possible. Private schools can be beneficial for this, and over 64% of private high school graduates in 2010-2011 ended up attending a four-year college. Aside from setting kids up for success, private schools often have more opportunities for parents to get involved with their children’s education, which is a great way for both parents to stay involved.
2. Create a Parenting Plan
Coparenting only works if both parents are on the same page and have an agreement about the basics of child-rearing. For example, you should plan out transition days where your child goes to their other parent’s house, as well as the time and who will be picking them up or dropping them off. If you’re both planning on dating, you should also make an agreement on how long you each should wait before introducing a new partner to your children. Similarly, you’ll want to work together to tailor your plan as your children get older and their needs change. Considering that almost 15% of children still wet the bed at age five, you’ll need to collaborate to solve issues like that.
Going hand-in-hand with the above, both coparents should work on developing effective communication with each other for the sake of making things as cohesive as possible for their children. It may help to work with a therapist or family counselor who can advise you on the best ways to communicate, solve conflicts, and work together. You may even consider creating a family group on a messaging app, such as Whatsapp, to allow you to communicate quickly and stay connected. As your kids get older and are allowed their own phones, you can all communicate in a family group to ensure that no one is left out of the loop.
4. Schedule Parenting Meet-Ups
While you don’t have to constantly see your ex while coparenting, it can be important to touch base with them at least once a month in person to talk in-depth about how things are going and if there is anything that needs to be changed. Meeting together like this can also show your children that you and their other parent still get along and that you’re able to work together for their sake. This can help children feel more secure, which is one of the most important things to consider.
5. Don’t Limit Your Kids
Staying cordial with your ex is important, and you don’t want to limit your child’s relationship with their other parent in any way. Barring anything that puts them in an unsafe situation, it’s important to give them agency and freedom to do activities with their other parent and spend as much time as possible with them. For instance, powerboats have become a popular investment and sales increased between six and seven percent in 2016. If your child’s other parent invested in a powerboat and wants to take the kids out for a weekend, you shouldn’t say no out of spite. The feelings you have for your ex should be yours alone, and they should never be used to hold your children back from developing a relationship with their other parent.
If you are coparenting after a divorce, you may find that the process is harder than you would like. Fortunately, by keeping these tips in mind, you can help make the process a bit easier without sacrificing your child’s relationship with their other parent or their wellbeing.