Following an acrimonious divorce, it’s common for there to be bad blood between exes. You may be ready to close the door on that chapter of your life altogether, and you could be angry that you have to share custody with a person you detest.
However, joint custody can be an opportunity to make things civil – and even collaborative – between you and your ex, which in the long run is good for your kids too. Today we provide three tips to making that process a bit easier:
Get on the same page with discipline.
You and your ex should have the same house rules with the same consequences. Don’t compete to be the “more fun” parent when you get time with your kids. They’ll benefit from the stability that comes from consistent expectations in different households.
Find a healthy outlet to vent your frustration.
It is perfectly okay – and normal – to feel hurt and resentful following a break-up. But responsible co-parents do not complain to their kids about their ex. Talking to friends, family members or a counselor can be a good way to release your anger. Going for a run or taking a high-intensity exercise class can also be an effective way to blow off steam.
Remember: you’re doing it for your kids.
After a difficult break-up or unhappy relationship of any kind, maintaining a connection to your ex can seem impossible. But having a positive – or at least neutral – relationship with your ex can have a positive influence on your children’s emotional and mental wellbeing. It also sends the message to your children that they are more important than the conflict that tore you and your ex apart.
No matter what you’re feeling inside, let your devotion to your kids drive your outward behavior toward your ex. The benefits to your children with be worth the effort.