How do you transition from a not-so-happy couple to a good co-parenting team? When you’re a parent, your relationship with your child’s other parent can endure long after the romance is gone, and it’s important to make the shift into co-parenting as quickly (and with as much positivity) as possible.
How you start the breakup with your spouse or partner can deeply influence how this process will evolve. Considering these tips can help you to get off on the right foot.
Hold your peace when you’re talking to other people
It can be really tempting to villainize your ex to other people – but that’s very likely to influence how the people who love you the most treat them. It can also influence how your children see their other parent if they overhear you.
Find one or two people (or a therapist) who will keep your confidences so that you can vent and do your best to be excruciatingly polite to your ex and about them in public, on social media and with family members (like your child’s grandparents) who will still see them. Respect and courtesy can set the tone for a good working relationship.
Be proactive about communication with your ex
You do need to talk to your ex as much as necessary about your child. Be honest, sincere and direct about any issues that you have that may affect your child, and show that you are willing to cooperate to get a parenting plan in place that will accommodate everybody’s needs as much as possible.
Be receptive when your ex reaches out to you with their concerns, too. You may disagree, at times, about what’s best for your child – but you do not want to treat your co-parent like an enemy. Answer their emails or text messages and make the effort to include them in any important information loop about your child’s education, health care or other needs.
It can help to view your current relationship with your ex as that of two business partners – and your business is raising a healthy, happy child, no matter what the circumstances. Crafting an effective parenting plan can help.