Be Cordial Around Your Children
You may not have a great relationship with your former spouse, but your children do not need to see that. If the children are present during your interactions, try to remain as cordial as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to act like you’re still married. Simply avoid negative comments and altercations that may worry about your child. If you need to have a less-than-pleasant conversation, do so when the children are not around.
Keep Your Former Spouse In The Loop
If you have primary custody of your child, try to keep your former spouse informed about big life developments. For instance, if your child significantly improves his or her grades, your former spouse should have a chance to congratulate him or her on that milestone. If your child gets into a fight at school, the other parent should know about that as well. Stay in communication with your former spouse about big events in your child’s life, and hopefully, he or she will reciprocate that communication.
Set A Schedule That Works For Both Of You
When it comes to visitation, doctor’s appointments, extracurricular activities, and other needs for transportation try to set a schedule that works for both of you. If your former spouse works nights, it’s logical for you to take on any night-time transportation requirements. If you work on the weekends, that would be an ideal time for your child to see his or her other parent. Talk to your former partner about your schedule and his or her schedule to come up with the best accommodations for each of you – again being mindful of the child’s needs above all else.
Maintain The Same Rules And Bedtime Schedules
Children need structure in their lives in order to grow and thrive. They cannot get that if there are different rules in each household. This is where co-parenting comes into play. Even though you are no longer married, you and your former spouse must agree on a universal plan for parenting, bedtime routines, disciplinary actions, and more.
If differences in your parenting styles were part of the reasons for divorce, you may want to work with your family counselor to come to a mutual agreement. This is a third-party mediator who can provide an outsider’s perspective on what would be best for your child.