Co-parenting isn’t easy, and it is so much harder when you have to try co-parent with a difficult parent. Whatever the reason for you not being together, both parties have to work towards a better environment for the children.
Sometimes, it seems like you are the only one putting the effort in, and on top of being an actual parent and everything that comes with it, this can all be way too overwhelming.
If you are co-parenting with a difficult parent – here is how to cope.
Lay Down Boundaries
Boundaries are so important to help your children feel safe as they grow. Boundaries offer consistency, and consistency leads to comfort and security.
Your partner might want to seem like the fun parent who lets the kids do everything they want, with no rules, and while setting boundaries might make you seem like the tough parent, it is such a benefit to your kids long-term.
Don’t try to compete with your co-parenting partner on who is the coolest parent. Know your boundaries for your kids and stick to them.
Do Not Badmouth The Co-Parent
Not only is badmouthing your co-parent a bad example to set for your kids, but it can just cause so much unnecessary drama that you really do not need to deal with.
Your children do not need to be burdened with adult issues, and they will probably still see both their parents with the utmost adoration. If you do have to speak about your co-parenting partner in front of your kids, do so positively.
Don’t Have High Expectations
Some people are lucky to have great co-parenting partners, and others aren’t. You need to keep realistic expectations on how your partner will act when it comes to co-parenting. If they acted a certain way while you were together, chances are they won’t change after you have split.
Always keep in mind that you might have to step in if the other parent lets you down with visitation or outings. It might not be a positive outlook to have, but it will save you disappointment and stress.
Keep A Support System
Going through a split and learning to co-parent is so tough, there is so much to deal with and you still need to carry on living as normal. One of the best ways to get through this is to keep a good support system. This could be friends, family, or even local support groups.
Not only will you receive emotional support and motivation, but you will also be able to find some great advice to get through.
Put The Kids First
This really goes without saying, but the kids need to be put first. Avoid making decisions based on anger as best you can.
You will need to put anger and frustration aside and approach the system much like you would a business. Be matter of fact, and only focus on things that involve the children when you are in contact with the co-parent.
If the two of you cannot sit down and talk about the best interests of the children, or cannot comminute via text, do not feel like you cannot go to family court. Sometimes it is the only way to sort out co-parenting issues.
As difficult as it can be, always do your best to keep your cool and be the better person. Your children deserve it, and you will be better off for it as well.