How do you build a solid co-parenting relationship? Well, at first, it may not be easy. You and your former spouse must overlook the differences that led to your divorce and understand that your children remain the priority for both of you.
You also will have to rely on areas that may not have been your strengths while married. This includes respectful communication, room for flexibility and understanding the importance of your former spouse’s role in your children’s lives.
Flexibility and communication
Here are some steps that can help form a healthy co-parenting relationship:
- Sticking with the custody agreement and schedule: You signed the divorce agreement that included custody and visitation. Children understand routine and if something disrupts that routine it could affect them. Abide by the agreement.
- Willingness to be flexible: Sometimes those predetermined schedules need adjustments when mitigating circumstances arise. When schedule conflicts come up, alert the other parent and try to be as accommodating as possible.
- Communicating: When concerns arise related to your children, discuss them. If a change in schedule is necessary, talk about it. Maintain open lines of communication as best as you can.
- Continuing to make the children the priority of both parents: Maybe some negotiation and compromise are in order, but the two of you should focus on what is best for the children and agree on things. Issues to address include the child’s health and medical treatment, schooling and education, discipline matters as well as spiritual upbringing.
- Understanding the value of the other parent: Each of you have different strengths that are bound to influence and help your children become well-adjusted as they grow up. They gain a variety of experiences and opportunities from each parent, too. Embrace that.
- Avoiding manipulation: Influencing your children in the wrong way is a no-no. Do not be tempted to curry favor with them through manipulative and persuasive methods. It is not right to badmouth the other parent in attempting to get your children to choose sides.
It is a strategy based on agreement, respect and keeping the children always at the top. Following these tenets may help you.
Focusing on what works
By firmly working on your co-parenting relationship, you also likely may forge stronger bonds with your children. Understand what works and focus on those parts.