Co-Parenting as a divorced couple can definitely add stress to the already challenging job of being a parent. Especially, when one parent wants to control almost every situation. It’s tough because your relationship has ended, but you still both have a responsibility to take care of your kids. This is why it’s crucial that you learn to balance your emotions and do whatever is best for the children.
Research shows that kids thrive in positive co-parenting environments. They feel more secure and thrive when both parents have similar parenting styles. This is where my stress levels increase because my ex and I seem to come from opposite ends of the spectrum. Where he feels the need to be there for every possible waking moment, I’m more inclined to let the kids learn and discover on their own. Balancing my own emotions and appreciating his point of view, looking at the pros and cons of both his parenting style and mine, helps me to relieve the anxiety I can feel surrounding each situation as it arises.
The children are generally able to handle issues easier. They know they have both of us that they can to rely on in tough situations. When my ex and I work together we are setting a good example to follow for our children in their own future relationships.
I’ve learned some things over the years in regards handling emotions while co-parenting. Separate your feelings from the kids. Example: After a separation or divorce one might be left dealing with pain, anger, and resentment. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and be grateful for each emotion to help balance your emotions allowing one to take care of the children.
I learned it’s okay to deal with your feelings by getting help, like meeting with a Life Coach or just taking to family and friends. However, we shouldn’t look to the children to lend their ears. I learned I have to avoid at all costs complaining about my ex in front of the kids or using them to convey messages to him. It’s not their responsibility to handle my relationship issues. They also couldn’t be isolated from him because my emotions were getting the best of me.
It’s so important to communicate with my ex about the kids. Things come up and we still need to talk to each other. I really have to try to make my communications about the kids free from anger and stress. This isn’t always easy to achieve, but it’s an important and beneficial goal. Maintaining a formal tone in my conversations can help to de-personalize the discussion enough to get through it peacefully. Also, listening is one of the keys to success. I have to be willing to listen to what he has to say also.
It may seem redundant, but co-parenting requires that we work together. The kids need to receive consistent rules and advice from both of us. They’ve learned that going to either us will give them similar results. Last thing either of us wants is them playing us against each other to get their way.
Co-parenting with my ex can be difficult and stressful at times. Keeping a balanced mindset and doing the best for the children helps to reduce the chaos, level out the emotions, and minimize the stress as we work together.
Love & Light
Stress Management Expert