For many parents going through a divorce or facing single parenthood, caring for your child and setting them up for success is a major issue. It can seem like there are no right answers and every choice leads to criticism. But there are ways to create a sense of stability, love and structure for your child. You can help them thrive and meet their full potential.
Whenever possible, you and your co-parent should strive to come together for the sake of your child and to provide your child with stability. This is not easy, but it is crucial.
Communication Is Key
Many people struggle to speak with their ex. It is understandable. Whether managing your co-parenting relationship face-to-face, with the advice of an attorney or by using a family member as an intermediary, you should decide what information is critical for you and your co-parent to be on the same page. For instance:
- Are you and your ex aware of each other’s schedules?
- When should each parent be aware of a child’s misbehavior?
- Which rules are the same or different at each house?
- What are your priorities for your child’s education?
Every family is different, and you may not agree on everything, but setting clear priorities and making sure everyone knows key information will help smooth your co-parenting and create a more peaceful environment for your child.
Build A Support Structure For Everyone
No one raises their child entirely alone. The more people you can trust to help you in times of emergency, the better.
In many cases, family counseling is appropriate, even for divorced or unpartnered parents. Create a supportive, emotionally welcoming environment for yourself, your co-parent and your child. Professional advice often pays in dividends, and you will find even a few months of professional help lasts years.
Remember, It’s About The Kids
You likely have many emotions when dealing with your ex. That’s normal. But the law prioritizes your child’s well-being over your desires, and so should you. If you are unsure about how to manage co-parenting in a productive way, you can consult with an attorney. An experienced attorney or mediator can help you establish boundaries and expectations through a formal co-parenting agreement.