This week, Darren and Paige discuss tips and tricks to help with a problematic co-parenting situation. This is hard stuff!! You are divorced for a reason, and now you still have to make many decisions together around the children. Let's dive in!
- Set boundaries with your kids. Sometimes we want to be the "fun" parent after a divorce. Kids need consistency. We don't want them to grow up entitled little brats because of our insecurities as a parent. We may be viewed as the "non-fun, serious house," but the kids need boundaries and will thank you later in life.
- Do not criticize your co-parent in front of the kids or to just anyone who will listen. This is confusing and hurtful to the kids. Also, do not let the kids speak disrespectfully about the other parent. They can vent respectfully.
- Be a team. This will be hard, especially at first. The kids need to see a united front if possible. You will have significant decisions about the kids, and it will only hurt them if they know you are divided on certain things and will confuse them.
- Focus on your child's needs. You may think that this goes without saying, but sometimes you are focused on your anger at your ex, and you have a hard time focusing on your child. Adopt a business-like attitude; the business is the children. Talk only about the children.
- Don't talk on the phone. This is especially true in the beginning or if you just constantly argue. Communicate thru texts or emails to give yourself a minute to think and act rationally. This will also let you respond to some things and not to others. Also will give you evidence should you need it one day for court; let's hope not.
- Don't expect too much. Manage your expectations. It could go either way after the split. They might step up and be a better parent or not.
- Have a support system. Many days, you feel like it is just too much dealing with your ex. It can be very hard. Have that one friend or family member you can vent to and maybe get advice from. Don't vent to everyone!!! Pick a few people that you trust.
- Go to court if you must. If you have tried everything and it is not getting any better, you will go. This is the LAST resort. There is usually no winner in court. It can get ugly.
- Let the past go. Let it go, Let it go! To succeed in co-parenting, you need to let go of the anger and resentment and start anew. It is no longer about your ex's feelings; it is about the kids. Kids' best interest, repeat frequently.
What is Where's the Lemonade??
They say when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. Making lemonade is not always easy or possible. For us, we found ourselves single in our 40's with kids at home and starting life over again. Luckily we found each other, online no doubt. When we began blending families, schedules, traditions, and laundry, we discovered lots of lemons. Our podcast is a reflection on how we get through the hard times and enjoy the good times on our new journey together, all with ten kids in tow. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you make lemon squares. Lemonade might come later.