We all know that not every divorce ends in the two exes reconciling and deciding to work together to raise the child. Sometimes the divorce was too messy to end with the exes being civil towards each other, and that’s ok. The most important thing is to put the child’s needs first. While you and your ex may not be on great terms, it is possible to co-parent without working together to parent your children.
Yes, you read that correctly; co-parenting without working with your ex to parent. Co-parenting doesn’t always mean working together and making mutual decisions on how the two of you would like your child raised. Co-parenting can simply mean each parent making decisions in a manner they see fit, and allowing your ex to parent in the way he/she sees fit. So, how does this work?
- Accept that there is more than one way to parent.
There is no “one way” to parent your children. While you may believe that the way you parent is best, it’s important to realize that your ex’s way of parenting may be just as good. If the way your ex is parenting doesn’t harm your children, allow your ex to do things their way.
- Don’t undercut your ex’s rules.
If you hear that your ex is implementing rules that you don’t agree with, don’t allow your child to do the opposite when they are at your house just to spite your ex. Make decisions regarding your children based on what you believe is best for them, vs decisions that you know will make your ex angry (i.e. Your ex doesn’t allow your children to have ice cream after 8p.m. You shouldn’t allow them to have it after 8p.m. just because your ex doesn’t allow it).
- Trust your ex.
This means trusting that your ex has your child’s best interests at heart, and that he/she is making decisions because he/she believes it’s best for your child. When you let go of controlling the situation, and trust that your ex is doing his/her best, you can give up stressing about how your child is faring when they are with your ex.
If you had a messy divorce, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how you and your ex co-parent in the comment section below.