For children to have the continued stability and close relationship with both parents, it is important for co-parenting to be cooperative and amiable. Shared custody of children is always fraught with stress, as you have to put aside certain relationship issues which can be rather difficult. However, by being more consistent, avoiding conflict with your ex-spouse, hard work coupled with rules and schedules, you can effectively meet the challenges in joint custody of the children. Here are some ideas which can help you to cope with co-parenting over the joint custody of your children.
Push aside all anger and hurt
You may no longer be married to each other but that does not mean you are not parents to your children. In order to function well as parents, you need to push aside all anger, hurt and resentment, and come to an understanding to work towards the welfare of your children. It is always the hardest thing to set aside all strong feelings, especially if the divorce has just taken place. Keep a focus on the children and resolve to work amicably with your ex-spouse even if it means, swallowing your anger and pride. In the case of joint custody and co-parenting, your feelings need to take a backseat while you focus on the well being and happiness of the children.
Communication and mutual agreement
When you broke up with your ex, you did it because you could not agree on various issues which ultimately led to divorce. Now, you are bound to have more differences in regard to how you want to bring up your children, so it is only natural that you will disagree on various aspects. When such disagreement arises, try not to do so in front of the children as it is too late to change each other. Try to find a compromise somewhere by communicating effectively with each other. If you are able to put across the needs of the child in a peaceful, consistent and purposeful manner to your ex-spouse, it will be easier for the other person to reciprocate likewise. Communication is the key towards co-parenting and if you do not have this, then you are bound to come up against barriers. While this will be solely for the sake of your children, it will also enable you to keep your dignity.
Parenting as a team
Think of shared custody as a joint effort and try not to bicker and disagree over every little issue. In order to work as a team, both of you need to follow some rules which entails, no arguing in front of the kids, being polite to each other, being considerate and helpful towards each other. You can also discuss about the rules, schedule and discipline for the children and follow those through consistently. If children are made to bounce back and forth with different set of rules, schedule or disciplinary actions, they will end up being totally confused and withdrawn.
Make transitions easier for your children
In a joint custody, children have to move from one parent house to another which may be during the weekends or on vacations. Children are affected by the constant emotional transition of having to meet one parent while saying goodbye to the other. You can prepare the children about the inevitable by packing their things in advance, reminding them about their departure and dropping them off in time to the other parent.
When your children return, make sure that they are dropped off by the other parent so that awkward moments are avoided. Let your children adapt back to your house by giving them enough space and helping them to establish comfortably.
Children are torn between two homes which makes it even worst for them, as they feel no real sense of belonging in either. Make an effort to quell those insecurities by giving them a lot of love and affection and just how important they are to you. As long as your ex-spouse and you are able to work through some of these things, your children can have better chance of adapting to the changes without much difficulty.
About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger who is a health buff and religiously follows a healthy lifestyle. She leaves no stone unturned when it comes to maintaining the perfect work life balance. These days she is busy in writing on Healthy lifestyle and Gi Joe Action Figures.
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