Even though the concept of what makes a family has changed in recent years, it seems as though people still tend to discount fathers as valuable members of the co-parenting team. This means that you may have some stereotypes and preconceived notions to overcome as you embark on your journey as a divorced parent.
When it comes to negotiating a parenting plan, you shouldn’t feel as though you can’t fight for your fair share of the time with the kids. You have just as much right to be a parent to your children as their mother does, and your children need to know that you want to be in their lives as well.
Increasing the odds of a good co-parenting relationship
You can take certain steps to help ensure that your co-parenting relationship is as equal as possible:
- Whether you like it or not, you will need to communicate with the mother of your children to make this work. You need to demonstrate that you can separate what was your marital relationship from your relationship as parents.
- Be on time and stick to the schedule. You probably don’t like for someone to keep you waiting or stand you up, so give the same courtesy to the other parent.
- You will disagree. There is no way around it, so you may as well find a way to deal with those times before they happen.
- Overreacting will probably just make things worse. You will get irritated with the mother of your children, but that doesn’t always mean that you need to react to it.
- Parenting won’t always be fun. You will need to stick to agreements regarding routines, discipline and other kid-related issues.
- It’s okay to share the good times with your ex. If something positive happens while you are with the kids, it may make the other parent happy to hear about it.
- If you do have a disagreement with the other parent, do so away from the kids. They need to know that you are (mostly) united when it comes to them.
- Custody exchanges are not the time to deal with issues. Set up another time to talk about any concerns you may have regarding the children.
You aren’t married anymore. You may relish in the fact that you don’t have to answer to your ex anymore, but she doesn’t have to answer to you either. Only if either of your actions could harm the children does it matter. These tips may help you make the most out of your co-parenting experience. Putting them into your parenting plan may help both of you stick to it for the sake of your children if nothing else.