Although parents may understand the importance of having both parents in their child’s life, they may not know the best way to share parenting duties with their ex. If you are trying to figure out the best way to co-parent with your ex, you are not alone.
Whether your parenting plan is court ordered or you and your ex made an agreement, there are ways that you can manage it that keep stress levels low for everyone.
Put the child first
Just like making the original custody agreement, co-parenting works when the child’s needs are a priority over either parent’s. Healthline discusses that even if you do not love the custody schedule, if it is beneficial for your child, you need to accept it. Putting your child first also means setting aside any contempt or negative feelings towards your ex when you are in the child’s presence.
Communication with the other parent is imperative for successful co-parenting. Communicate directly and keep the message brief and on point. Keep emotions out of conversations and be willing to compromise and cooperate when necessary. If talking face-to-face or over the phone is challenging, use email and text messages.
Make plans but also be flexible
Although your parenting plan lays out who gets the child on normal weeks, you will need to plan for holidays and vacations. Try to keep routines the same and give the other parent ample notice if you want vacation time with your child.
The Huff Post discusses that being flexible is also ok at times. If the other parent wants to take the child out for something important on a day you normally have custody, let him or her join your ex if it is something enjoyable and meaningful.
Encourage communication with the other parent
When your child is with you, allow for communication with the other parent. You can also share school news, pictures or other memorable moments so your ex feels more involved in your child’s life.