CO-PARENTING: WHAT NOT TO DO
These things harm your child emotionally:
Don’t make ANY derogatory comments regarding the other parent.
Don’t place your child in the middle – no asking them to carry hostile messages or ask if there can be schedule changes. Don’t make children choose between their parents.
Don’t inhibit your child from making positive comments about the other parent….they need to feel safe about loving and respecting both parents.
Don’t discuss litigation issues in front of or with the child.
Don’t make assumptions. You will most likely assume the worst. You don’t know what is going on in his/her life any longer. Go to the source and ask if you must (kids don’t always report correctly).
Don’t take it (things your ex does or says) personally. It may have nothing to do with you.
IF YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN’T GET ALONG WITH YOUR EX:
Arrange to have minimal interaction between you.
Attempt to make joint decisions only when major decisions must be made.
Information about medical appointments, school reports and activities limited to notification, not discussions.
Bite your tongue.
Life is not fair…accept that and deal with it.
Divorced parents owe it to their children to put their best effort forward when it comes to dealing with the other parent. Here are a few tips to help you co-parent effectively:
1) Consider The Best Interests of the Child: look through your child’s eyes.
2) Integrity: honor your agreements. Do what you said you were going to do. Be respectful. No power struggles. Be a good role model for your child(ren).
3) Healthy Communication: Be brief, be friendly, be informative, come up with options that the other parent may find agreeable. No threats, sarcasm, criticism.
4) Maintain Boundaries regarding the other parents’ time, space, privacy, new relationships, career.
5) Manage Your Emotions: don’t let the other parent push your buttons…disengage when necessary.
6) Be Responsible.
7) Be Cooperative.
8) Focus on the Future: don’t dwell on what you believe happened in the past.
Next, I will blog about the behaviors you shouldn't do as divorced/separated parents.