There is no doubt that divorce impacts children in multiple ways. Unlike parents who made the decision to end their marriage, kids who are caught up in the middle of a divorce usually feel like their world has just been turned upside down.
Co-parenting is a deliberate decision by two adults whose main focus is raising their children after divorce. However, it is worth appreciating that co-parenting is not always a walk in the park, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for its success. That said, here are general guidelines that can help you come up with a co-parenting plan that is in the best interest of your child.
Be candid about your divorce
Usually, children never get a say in their parents’ decision to end the marriage. However, this does not mean that you should keep them in the dark. After all, their life will never be the same following their parents’ divorce. It is important that you provide reassurance and create a conducive environment for communication. During these conversations, allow your children to express exactly how they feel so you can know what they are going through.
Avoid dragging kids into your differences
While it is important that you talk about the divorce with your children, always ensure that you protect them from any differences you might be having with your spouse. Venting to your children just because you are angry at the other parent may not be a good idea after all. Also, blaming the other parent or badmouthing them to the children may hurt any co-parenting plan that you might be working on.
Be there for your kids, always
Your children have gone through a mental, emotional and physical ordeal during the divorce process. As such, it is important that both of you are there for them whenever they need your presence. Even when they are lashing out, they are probably doing it to get attention, and it will only worsen if they feel that neither parent is giving them the attention they are yearning for. Be sure to create time for quality moments with your kids on a regular basis.
Co-parenting can be a challenge at the beginning especially if you are both dealing with the emotional repercussions of divorce. However, you can overcome these challenges by putting your children’s interests ahead of your own.