How To Have A Healthy Co-Parenting Lifestyle (Do It For The Kids!)
So it didn’t work out with you and your spouse. Divorce is a huge decision to make and follow through with, it affects EVERYONE, and most importantly it effects the kids! (even more than mom and dad). This may be a healthy choice because it’s important for the kids to see mom and dad love each other and work together well, you know, as a team?! BUT the ONLY way this can be a healthier choice for the kids is if, and ONLY if, the parents have a healthy co-parenting lifestyle. If you act like you hate each other when you’re divorced than it will actually be worse than staying together as an unhealthy marriage.
When you get a divorce it takes the stability, sense of comfort, and safety away from the kids. They now will have two homes to bounce back and forth to, they’ll miss the family being together (even when it’s unhealthy), they may blame themselves, the list goes on… it’s scary to them! So, if you add a temper tantrum mom and dad who can’t get along into the mix it becomes even more scary, sad, and unhealthy.
No matter how much you may despise each other (if an ugly marriage and divorce) know that your kids will always love BOTH of their parents and will want and benefit from seeing mama and dada acting like civilized grown ups who can swallow their pride and do right by the kids.
What It Takes To Have A Healthy Co-Parenting Lifestyle
- Don’t talk bad about the other parent (ever!) This is a HUGE problem! It ends up not hurting the other parent (they’ll just shrug it off, they could care less because you’re divorced!) The people it hurts the MOST are your beautiful children. Words are powerful and when someone talks bad about one of their parents it hits them to their core and can cause your child a moment of depression. Bite your tongue!
- Talk in a normal tone and with respect to one another (even smile and laugh together). Your kids will love to see you both talking and getting along, it will make them feel happy and reassure them that things are okay, or they’re going to be okay at some point.
- Work together as a team. You might not be together anymore, living in different quarters now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work with each others schedules to hand off the kids. ‘oh, something came up at work and I thought I’d check with you first before I call a sitter to see if you wanted to take the kids, I know they would rather see you!’ just an example… Think like the kids would (what would they want/need?!)
- Be Flexible. When it comes to kids, flexibility is a must, it comes with the territory.
- Don’t use the kids against each other. Always have the kids best interest at heart, stop the childish vengeful behavior.
- Let the other parent do it their way at their home (no micro managing). As long as it’s not damaging to the kids.
- Never put the kids in a position where they have to choose a parent over the other.
- Still do things together. Mom, dad, kids get together once or twice a month for an outing (once you’re ready… just don’t take years!)
Divorce/separation is never fun and can be very heart breaking for all involved, it’s important to acknowledge everyone’s feelings and go about the break up steps in a healthy manner. Check out a past post of mine ‘Grieving Stages After Divorce,’ click here! Also, if you haven’t told your kids about a divorce yet, be sure to check out a past post I wrote ‘How To Tell The Kids You’re Getting A Divorce,’ Click here!
I am lucky with how my co parenting lifestyle has been, both my ex and I know the importance of modeling good behavior and love our children so much that we want to do right by them. Some divorces can get so ugly and in the long run it’s the children who become depressed and disappointed… So please, behave for your mini-me’s!
Take care readers!
photo 1 by: singleparents.about.com