While working through a difficult situation, a common sentiment offered is, “If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.”
It is a kind thing to say and most often appreciated, but also most often, there isn’t anything that a person can do. In the end, we are the ones who must work through our emotions and the baggage of the situation.
Divorce is never an easy decision and the aftermath can, at times, be just as challenging to manage. After divorce, if both parents receive custody, the challenge of co-parenting begins, which is new to many parents. How does one properly co-parent? Who do you ask for guidance? While divorce isn’t usually the desired result of marriages, many of them end in that fashion, which leads to a lot of co-parents. The chances are reasonably high that you know someone that could offer some initial relief.
You could also take a look at the three attitudes below because while every situation is unique, some universal truths could assist you in your co-parenting future.
- Understand that the noise is not your friend: Your parenting styles may be different. The divorce may have been messy. The relationship wounds may be so deep that you may never fully respect your ex again. All that said, and due to the best interest of the child, you must set aside the ill-will. It may be tough and could take help to rediscover, but for the children’s health, remember there were good times with your ex. Try to hold on to those when you two work together.
- Heal your wounds: Divorce doesn’t happen to happy couples. Whether your relational problems led to mental distress or physical issues you would like to fix, taking steps to heal your body is an excellent step to being happy and successfully moving on. Ways to do this may be to find a therapist, find a support network of family and friends, pick up on a new and exciting hobby, begin a consistent exercise routine or start fueling your body with a healthy diet.
- Be open to honest communication and flexibility: Sometimes, you and your ex will agree on how to handle a situation, a part of the child’s schedule, or the visitation schedule. Other times, you won’t. Understanding there will be disagreements and how to handle them will alleviate a lot of headaches. If you two must have a serious discussion, it’s best to set a time a wat from the kids. It’s understood this isn’t always an option, so if you do argue near the kids, keep the personal comments to yourself. As to being flexible, things do come up. Sometimes people do have to work late, get stuck in traffic or have a serious emergency to handle. Not everything is an excuse. If these reasons become a constant, then that’s a separate issue to address.
And finally, to restate the most crucial attitude to remember: It’s about the well-being of your children. Base your actions on whether to better yourself, being open to effective communication and flexibility and a respectful relationship with your ex on that central point.