Raising a child is hard enough all by itself but what if the parents aren’t together anymore? This can be an almost impossible feat to accomplish — not all parents parent the same way and if the separated parents don’t get along or can’t communicate very well, it can all fall apart.
Yes, it’s simple to say it’s all the child and all you need to do is focus on them but life just isn’t that easy. It all starts with communication but speaking positively about your ex in front of your children is probably the hardest part of co-parenting. You try to be ‘nice’ but you come off as passive-aggressive and don’t kid yourself, children can pick up on it — when your words say one thing but your tone, body language and overall energy say something else.
Your job as a parent is to have integrity in every interaction with your child — it’s not always easy, but the job is the job. This doesn’t mean you have to be a perfect parent or that you should expect your ex to be perfect either. What it does mean is that you are responsible for checking in with yourself and truly being a positive, cooperative co-parent.
Before losing your mind when your ex does something you don’t approve of or didn’t know, check yourself before saying anything.
- Check your tone of voice
- Check your body language
- Check the truth behind the story when your child delivers a message from the other parent
- Check what facts you share with your child about your ex
- Check your feelings so frustration and resentment towards your ex doesn’t land on your child
- Check yourself so your child’s feelings are they’re own and not being imposed upon them
The best way to be the best co-parent is to remember that your ex helped bring your child into the world and they actually have the same goal as you do — raising your kid with love and understanding.