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5 tips for successful co-parenting relationships

The experience of their parents going through a divorce can be very hard on children. Some parents try to minimize the negative impact this situation has on their children by agreeing to co-parent with their exes. In this arrangement, the parents continue to work together to raise the children instead of forcing the children to learn to live with two fully-separate homes.

While co-parenting is likely the best arrangement for the children in many cases, it can be rather challenging for the parents. Below are some ways that you can make co-parenting a bit easier. Consider these tips:

Decide what is truly important

Prioritize the issues that might come up with your child. You might feel strongly about what school your child should attend, but this might mean that you need to let your ex decide in which extracurricular activities the child can participate. Deciding what issues are the most important to you is a way to determine what battles to fight and which ones to let go.

Put the children first, but keep them out of adult discussions

Your children should be the primary focus of things. You need to make sure that all decisions are made in their best interests. Make sure that you and your ex are the ones who are discussing the issues. You shouldn't ever use your children as messengers. They don't need to be privy to the differences of opinion that occur between the adults.

Set clear expectations and rules

Being around your ex when the children have activities might not be easy, but setting the rules and expectations ahead of time can help. One rule that has to be clear from the beginning is that joint time with the children isn't an opportunity to discuss about contentious issues. Instead, the focus should be on making memories with the children during these events.

Be ready to be flexible

There will be times when your co-parent might need to change things up a bit. Flexibility can come in handy during these times. Make sure that your ex reciprocates the flexibility so that your children can enjoy everything that they can.

Verify everything important

When you are co-parenting, you shouldn't assume anything. Verify anything that is important to you and your ex. For example, if you are trying to decide who is going to pick the children up from school or take them to dance practice, make sure you clarify this with the other parent. This ensures that the plan is in place so that your children won't be left without a parent when they need one.

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