Co-parenting for newly separated or divorced Virginia parents is often very challenging and stressful. There are many things you can do to make co-parenting easier.
If you have been through the custody process, you know that the best interest of your children should be your main priority. Keeping this standard in mind can help you maintain stability for your children.
Keep your children out of adult situations
Keep your children out of your family conflicts as much as you can. Children are not meant to handle adult issues. When you burden them with custody or co-parenting problems, you are putting unnecessary and inappropriate stress on them.
Many children in these situations experience feelings of guilt or shame, feeling that they are to blame for the problems. They also often suffer from mental or emotional problems.
You want your children to see you and your co-parent working together to solve problems. They will carry these lessons into their own lives, learning how to solve their own problems in a healthy manner.
Take care of yourself
Seek other ways to help yourself work through the issues, such as counseling or therapy. Find healthy hobbies, such as yoga or meditation, or vent to a trusted friend. The point is to not use your children to help yourself heal.
Learn healthy ways of communication with your ex. Some parents can communicate fine using any means, while some prefer non-verbal communication such as text messaging.
Prioritize stability and consistency
Now that you are living apart, your children will be exposed to two different households that probably have different rules and environments. Try to work together to keep schedules or rules the same.
This can be extremely important as your children get older and may rebel against the parent who is seen as having “stricter” rules.
Co-parenting is an ongoing process. Experienced family law attorneys advise parents on the best co-parenting strategies for their situation.