If you are the parent of one or more children who still live at home with you and you have separated from or divorced your children’s other parent, you will now need to figure out how to work with your former partner to raise your children together. Working cooperatively with someone you chose not to remain married to may not be easy, but it can be done with the right mindset. Co-parenting starts by ensuring your kids are always the purpose for any decision or action, making them the center of things and ideally reducing conflict between you and the other parent.
Oprah magazine recommends that when working to develop a positive co-parenting relationship, you maintain a level of flexibility to show your kids and the other parent a willingness to collaborate. This may be met well and returned in kind. One concrete action you can take is to help your children shop for and purchase birthday or holiday gifts for their other parent. This shows them that you support their relationship with that parent rather than making them feel in the middle of the two of you.
A central tenet of co-parenting is to commit to only saying positive things about the other parent around your children.
If you would like to learn more about how you might approach the need to raise your kids with a former partner in a way that is healthy for you and your kids, please feel free to visit the child-centric parenting with a former spouse page of our family law, divorce and child custody website.