When you have grown accustomed to having your child sleep under the same roof as you every night, you may find it difficult to adjust to a new custody arrangement. Even if the relationship between you and your son or daughter’s other parent is relatively amicable, you may still find it difficult to learn how to co-parent with this person successfully.
Per Parents, you may be able to make the transition easier on everyone by creating a parenting plan alongside your child’s other parent. This gives you an opportunity to hash out schedules, determine financial responsibilities and otherwise figure out how you plan to raise your shared child while living in separate homes. While creating a parenting plan is a great way to minimize parental conflict and keep everyone on the same page, there are other steps that may, too, help make the co-parenting process easier for everyone. You may find it easier to adjust to your new joint-custody arrangement if you:
- Put aside your feelings and emotions.
You may have lingering animosity toward your son or daughter’s other parent after a divorce. However, it is important that you recognize that while this person may have treated you poorly, he or she may still very much be a good parent to your shared child.
- Determine preferred methods of communication.
If your relationship with your ex is not particularly strong, you may want to agree to communicate solely by email, text message or what have you.
- Give your child a say in important decisions.
By letting your child make age-appropriate decisions, you are showing him or her that you value his or her emotions and preferences. A child who has a say with regard to schedules, routines, extracurricular activities and so on is typically going to be more agreeable to any changes and transitions he or she encounters.
The co-parenting relationship tends to change over time, but following these tips may help ensure that yours remains successful over the years.