Many different things happen when you divorce and have children. For one, you have to determine how to handle child custody matters. Some parents try to keep a lot of life’s aspects the same as they were before by choosing to co-parent, but this isn’t always easy.
Co-parenting will take work on the part of you and the other parent. Both adults will have to take steps to try to help the children to adjust. There will be times when it might seem like the focus is shifting from your children to you or your ex, but you can’t let this happen. Here are some ways to keep your children at the center of the arrangement:
Set a solid parenting plan
You and your ex need to set clear expectations for the children and the parenting methods. Establishing this plan from the start can help you to make things easier with parenting. Make sure that you are thinking ahead to times and decisions that might cause issues. For example, you need to think about how school functions and medical decisions will be made. The more detail you have now, the better you will likely be able to fare over time.
Start new traditions
Traditions give your children something to look forward to. Try to find new traditions that you can start that signal fun times with you. This might mean going out for ice cream on the first day you have them during the month or having movie nights at home. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Find out what your children will enjoy doing with you so that you can go from there. You don’t want the traditions to seem like a chore.
Give kids extra support
Your children will need support as they adjust to the new way of life. Make sure that they get this from you, but try to enlist other people. Sometimes, children need other people to talk to and to spend time with. Don’t think that this is a negative thing. Your goal is to give your children the tools they need to thrive during adulthood. This starts with learning how to navigate social issues and determining who is in their corner.
Throughout the co-parenting relationship, take the time to address issues directly with your ex. Keeping these matters between the two adults will let your children feel more secure.