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Co-parenting With a Difficult Ex: 5 Tips to Make It Easier

For a divorced parent, dealing with a difficult ex can be exhausting, emotionally draining, and damaging to the kids.

Co-parenting well is difficult enough with two happy parents. When your former partner, however, is non-understanding, the task seems impossible at times.

Here are the top 5 tips to be an effective co-parent

Set boundaries

Make sure you will not engage in negative communication or behavior with your ex. Simply, let your ex know that you will not discuss the matter in front of the children. Instead, ask your ex to send an email, providing it concerns a decision to be made about the children.

Although you cannot change the way your ex communicates with you, you can change the way you interact with your ex. Communicating through email dilutes the emotion.  When responding to emails, only address the specific issues concerning the children and ignore other irrelevant comments or accusations. Make sure to stick to the point, without judgment or criticism.

Do not criticize your ex

Keep your personal feelings about your ex aside and refuse to bad mouth your ex to your children. Also, do not engage in negative communication with family or friends, as your children might hear you.

Just like you do with your children, you need to resolve your battles with your ex. Find out which parenting issue is vital to you, where you can compromise, and where you are willing to let go.

Create a future plan

Putting all differences aside, try to sit down with your ex and create a plan that focuses on meeting the requirements of your children.  If required, ask a neutral or common party to be present to help you stay focused on the plan and even offer an objective opinion.

As part of your future plan, do discuss your new relationship goals as co-parents. Often, divorced couples fail to do this. Do not go like them, instead find out your relationship boundaries as co-parents to be, or look like.

Go unbiased

If you have issues with the way parenting is going, discuss it with your ex. Make sure to stay honest and give valid reasons to support your point of view. Be open to listening to your ex point of view as well. Maybe, you both hold different views but that does not mean one of you is right and the other is wrong. Co-parenting is not about winning for each other, it’s about focusing on the kids’ best interest.

Do not involve your kids

Never put your children in the position to help sort their parents’ issues. They should not be loaded with issues and circumstances that they cannot control.  As a parent, you might have to make sacrifices for your child’s happiness. Regardless of how another parent behaves, you need to take care of your actions, choices, and words. Simply, try to be your child’s role model by behaving appropriately at all times, and keeping your issues aside.

If you are going through the challenges of single parenting and are worried about the impact on children, do follow the above tips to make co-parenting easier.

Author Bio:

Willow Anderson Law is an Edina-based family law firm dedicated to guiding you through life-altering transitions while minimizing damage to your well-being, your children, and your financial future.We know how challenging family law matters like divorce, custody, and spousal/child support can be. That’s why our Minnesota family law firm is dedicated to attentive listening, straight-forward communication, and thoughtful advocacy on your behalf.