Co-parenting tips when you don’t get along with your ex

In a perfect world, you and your ex would still be on good terms and you could work together for the benefit of your child. Even if you know that’s what you want ideally, though, the reality is that you and your ex may have had a messy divorce. It could have brought a lot of ugly truths to light, and now you may simply find it impossible to get along.

That’s fine. You and your ex don’t have to be friends. You can be angry. However, it’s important that your feelings don’t negatively impact the child. These tips can help you mentally prepare to co-parent even when you wish you didn’t have to:

— Understand that you may not agree with your ex’s parenting decisions. Unless your ex is doing something illegal, that’s just how it goes, and you need to get your head around this. A lot of people create more stress by trying to police their exes’ parenting tactics.

— Think about your child’s point of view. Your ex is still his or her parent. You child still has a close bond, even though you don’t. Being empathetic helps you put aside your own frustration.

— Remember that you are still a positive influence. You may not like what your ex is doing all of the time. You may not be happy to work with him or her. Put all of that energy into creating a positive example for your child. Invest yourself in the time you have, and set an example that you’d be proud to have your child follow.

This won’t always be easy, but having the right mindset can go a long way. At the same time, if your ex does cross any legal lines and your rights as a parent are violated, remember that you have options — including going to court, if necessary.

Source: Good Therapy, “5 Tips for Co-Parenting When You Can’t Stand Your Ex,” Andra Brosh, accessed Jan. 06, 2017