May 16, 2013

Co-parenting tips for divorcees

Divorce can be intensely difficult, even years after it is finalized. Residual tension and bitterness over the terms of the divorce can make it difficult for former spouses to associate on cordial terms. However, doing so becomes crucial when those parties share custody of a child. Failing to exercise appropriate coparenting techniques can have debilitating effects on a child’s emotional and interpersonal development. However, divorced Michigan couples who are able to temporarily put aside their differences for the benefit of their child’s best interests can ensure the child has a mutually loving and caring relationship with both parents.

Effective coparents do not need to be friends by any means, but they do need to learn how to cooperate when dealing with a son or daughter. Many divorced parents, as a rule, never contact each other outside of that context, agreeing not to bring up personal disputes when discussing issues pertaining to the children. Both should promise not to let any remaining harsh feelings or bitterness carrying over from their divorce affect their child. In fact, it is best to make sure a child is not exposed to any fighting between parents.

Divorced parents must also be prepared to relinquish control over some aspects of their children’s lives. It can be hard to accept an ex-spouse’s house rules and disciplinary style, but parents who share custody must also share parental discretion. Both parents must agree to let each other parent as they see fit when reasonable.

A strong support network can be crucial after a difficult divorce; friends and family members that one can count on for encouragement and kind words can make the process of ending one’s marriage much less traumatic. However, it is important to prevent that network from negatively impacting one’s ability to coparent. Loved ones can feel compelled to insult one’s ex-spouse through emails or phone calls, but this can exacerbate problems and make it harder for both parents to agree on parenting concerns.

Source:  MetoParent, “Successful co-parenting: 7 Steps for Divorced Parents” Lynn Meredith Golodner, May. 01, 2013