The period before, during and after divorce can be frustrating and bring about emotional turmoil for the two spouses. In some cases, children will also bear the brunt of the divorce in one way or another. The situation gets more complicated when parents are required to co-parent after they have separated legally.
Emotions are bound to run high, making it difficult for the parties to come up with a suitable co-parenting arrangement. Most people have made mistakes when it comes to co-parenting, and it is important to learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes.
Below are common mistakes parents should be aware of and take steps to prevent:
Losing your temper
Most divorced parents tend to ignore the welfare of their children and focus on what is best for them. Your co-parent is a person who knows you well and can say or do things that could anger you or cloud your judgment. This may result in one of the parties losing their temper, with anger and emotions getting the best of them.
To avoid this problem, you should stay away from situations and conversations that can lead to conflict. It is also important to admit when in the wrong and apologize for mistakes made.
Making it more about the parents than the children
Divorce and separation are known to be emotionally-charged events. Sometimes, one parent can use the children to get back at their co-parent. Another mistake may involve competing to be the ‘cool’ parent or going against the parenting schedule.
It is important to consider the needs of your kids as well as being reasonable to give the arrangement a chance of succeeding. Children should be loved so that they enjoy security, consistency, stability and high esteem.
Communicating through the children
Some parents use their children to convey messages between them and their spouse. This puts the kids in a difficult position where they are exposed to the conflict between their parents. Other divorced parents go to the extent of asking their children to pick sides.
These mistakes can be avoided by facing your ex-partner when you need to talk to them. Co-parents can also develop effective communication channels that will not involve the kids. You should also avoid making the kids make grown-up decisions about which side to choose.
Fighting and criticizing each other in front of the children
While couples may argue and fight in front of their children, the habit may go on even after they have divorced. The situation becomes different based on the fact the children will be aware of the separation. Parents may also criticize and speak ill of their ex-partner in front of the kids.
It is important to work on developing proper coping mechanisms to ensure that you are calm, sober and collected when addressing issues with your co-parent. Being aware of theses common mistakes can help you prevent disputes with your ex and protect your relationship with your children.