First, we should premise this by saying that no means of parenting is easy. Our aim here is to make things easier, not to make them easy. There are going to be troubled unique to you and your child. But, as it pertains to parenting, perhaps you can pick up a few tips that will make things a little less difficult. Read on to find out what tips we have for co-parents looking to make things simpler.
Communicate, but set boundaries
Whether you went into this co-parenting situation amicably, perhaps with a pre-planned idea for co-parenting, or simply hold no ill-will toward your co-parent, or not, you will need to communicate on some level.
It would be best to communicate as civilly as possible, and better for the child if you can retain a friendly relationship, but life often isn’t that kind, and if you need to keep away from your co-parent as much as possible, you will need to establish that upfront. Set yourself and your co-parent some rules. They don’t need to be laid out to them, but they need to be told when they are breaching them. If they are a reasonable person, they’ll simply know not to do it again, and if they’re not, you can look into extra steps or even get the law involved. You can find child custody lawyers here.
We said to set yourself rules. This is for you and your co-parent’s benefit. It is no longer your business what they’re doing with their time without the kids, no longer your business who they’re spending it with, etc. As long as it has nothing to do with the kids, it has nothing to do with you.
Keep track with apps
Shared apps are a great way to ensure there is no confusion about who owes what and who is supposed to pick up who. Money-sharing apps like PayPal or Venmo will allow you to keep an automatic paper trail of any money going back and forth. Still, there are also apps specifically designed for the purpose of keeping track of requests for money and whether that request was fulfilled. It can be useful if you end up asking the law for help.
And shared calendars will allow you to negotiate time. There will be no instances of Timmy waiting at the football club for a parent that won’t arrive, or at least, if there is, there’ll be no excuse for it. You and your co-parent can each put in requests for time and instantly see where there is space and where there isn’t.
Keep the venting for your support system
You’ll need a support system there to hear you vent, cheer you up, and tell you it’ll get better. None of those are your children. Well, they might cheer you up, but it’s not their job.
If you have gripes about your co-parent, save them for your support system. Your children don’t need to hear it and don’t want to hear it. There is a very real chance that hearing your grievances against their mother/father might backfire and cause them to resent you rather than the co-parent. And besides, you’re raising some intelligent kids. If those gripes are valid, chances are they’ll see it for themselves eventually.
You could seriously damage the relationship you have with your children this way, and you’ll end up just pushing them away. And where are they going to go? Into the arms of your co-parent.
Communication is important for a healthy co-parenting relationship, which is important for your child’s well-being, but there are limits.