The following is a guest post from The Cantor Law Group of Phoenix, AZ.
Couples with children do not have the luxury of distance after a divorce. Providing a stable and safe environment for your children requires a great deal of cooperation. Effective co-parenting begins with these tips.
Your children should always be the center of attention when they are around. Focusing all your attention on them can ease the negative feelings that accompany a divorce. You and your ex-spouse should let them know that they are your main priority. Being mentally present when you are with them is a very powerful nonverbal cue that makes them feel loved and wanted. This is a very comforting message to give a child who may be emotionally wounded.
The importance of communication is essential to the practice of co-parenting post-divorce. Lack of communication can have disastrous results. It is a good idea to schedule regular calls to your ex-spouse to discuss routine matters such as doctor visits and homework assignments. You should always be frequently communicating about any emotional changes in your child and any topics that need sensitive handling. Don’t leave your children out of the communication loop. You should make it clear that they can always come to either one of you to talk about anything.
Giving your children a stable life and a reliable routine is an important part of making them feel comfortable and safe. The routine between their two homes should be very similar. Bedtimes, meals and homework should be normalized into a comfortable routine. It is very important to work out specific punishments with your ex-spouse so the child feels they are being equally and fairly treated in both homes.
Divorce can be very painful, and it can be hard to keep resentment or anger hidden from your children. Separating your relationship with your ex-spouse from the parenting job you share is the key to a successful transition for children. Save yelling and fighting for times when you know your children will not overhear. Never talk negatively about their other parent, and always work out any differences away from your children.
No one is perfect and it is inevitable that you will slip up from time to time. Don’t become discouraged. Explain to your children why you made the mistake, and tell them how you plan to avoid it in the future. You may be surprised at what a great example this sets for your children.