December 06, 2022
Starting Off the New Year Right with Co-Parenting
The new year is right around the corner. This is often a time when people consider the current state of their lives and the changes they want to make in the upcoming year. And, if you're recently divorced or co-parenting, this season can be especially stressful as you juggle differing expectations, multiple families, and the reality of co-parenting during the holidays. We believe the New Year is an opportunity to evaluate, reflect, and commit to the best practices of co-parenting. We have compiled these co-parenting tips to enable you to put your best foot forward, prioritize your children, and find peace while parenting despite the divorce.
Four Key Co-Parenting Tips:
1. Hear both sides. Let's face it, parenting is hard enough without the baggage that comes along with divorce. It is easy to get caught up in your own ideas for what is best for your child, especially if there is hostility involved in the divorce. However, you're both your child's parents and should have equal influence over your child's upbringing and life experiences. Compromising and listening well are key to presenting a united front to your children while allowing both parties to influence decisions and find common ground.
2. Compromise is key. In families of divorce, there will sometimes simply be no agreement. In these cases, it is vital to remain calm and discuss options to appease both sides. Ask yourself "How can we find common ground in this decision?" Prioritize what is most important for you and fight for those key elements. In this situation, it may be helpful to engage a third party to keep the peace and see both sides of the story.
3. Consider your kids’ opinions. If there's one co-parenting tip we can provide, it would be to listen to your children. If there are children involved, it is so valuable to gauge their opinions on what is best for them, including their desires for themselves and the entire family. Children need to feel heard. However, do not involve them in your conflicts. Rather, let them know you respect how they feel about the situation and make them feel heard. Allow them to have age-appropriate control over some custody decisions like weekend plans, family dinners, etc. They are involved in their custody planning, too!
4. Make sure to take some time for yourself. It may be easy to get wrapped up in family conflict and the stress of a divorce. This is why it's vital to take time for yourself. In 2023, make self-care a priority. On the day or days you are not hosting the child(ren), engage in relaxing and fulfilling activities. This will not only help you, but it will also model healthy behaviors for your children.
We hope you'll use these co-parenting tips as a starting point for developing a strong co-parenting ethic for 2023. If you have any issues with divorce, child custody, mediation, or another aspect of family law, give the experienced and reliable team at Heymann & Fletcher a call to help you and your family today!