Raising children is probably one of the hardest things you will ever do. It requires cooperation from everyone involved, especially BOTH coParents. But what happens when you just can’t win with your coParent, no matter what you do? Does your coParent always find a way to “one-up” you? Do they twist the story? Are they constantly trying to get you in trouble?
Well, if you feel like you are in a losing battle with your coParent, it’s time to do something about it. Take charge of everything you can take charge of and prove that you are being the very best parent you can possibly be. Prove that you’re willing to work together and have the best interest of your child at hand. If you don’t know where to start, simply start by:
Create and Follow Your Parenting Plan.
Talk with your coParent about creating a joint parenting plan, one that you both agree with as much as possible. Be specific, and write it down on paper so that it can be referenced later on. The more specific it is, the fewer disagreements there will be. Also, make sure you follow this plan and document every pickup, dropoff, and any changes.
The judge isn’t going to be following you around 24/7 to see if you’re on time to child exchanges, cooperate with the other parent, and always keep the child’s best interest in the forefront of every decision. The best thing to do in this case is to document everything. Have something to show date, time, and location of child exchanges, as well as date and time of text messages, phone calls, and emails. This will be vital in showing the judge that you are abiding by the rules and making every effort to be the best parent you can be.
Be Respectful of Your Ex.
It’s important to show respect for your ex, especially around your children. You may not like your ex very much, but your child doesn’t need to know that. Make it clear to everyone you talk to about how important it is that your children not hear any negative comments about their other parent. Once again, a healthy mindset is important to your children’s psychological well-being. Bad-mouthing parents in front of children can have a detrimental effect that causes further problems down the road. This goes for social media as well. Make sure to keep your opinions of your ex private and not out there for the whole world to see. What you say to others whether in person, on the phone, or on social media could definitely be used against you at some point so make sure you keep your opinions private.5.
Talk with Your Ex Directly, Not Through Your Children.
If you communicate with your ex through your children, it will only cause problems. Even if you think your message was friendly, your child may not communicate it in a way that looks friendly. If you are able to have a civil conversation with your ex, talk to him/her directly, especially if you’re trying to resolve a dispute. It is a good idea to have the conversation documented either through text or email, even if you verbally agree, make sure you send a follow-up message so that it is in writing. This will help any misunderstandings while also show the judge you are looking to resolve issues in a mature fashion while working with your coParent, not against them.
Download a coParenting App
Technology has come a long way, so why not use it to its advantage? There are coParenting Apps out there that help keep custody schedules in order, document conversations, track child exchanges, and record almost every encounter with your coParent. No need to save emails, text messages, and receipts to prove conversations and your whereabouts… just document it all in the app and have it all printed out for your custody hearing. It’s really that easy.
Being able to work effectively with your coParent can be difficult. A small minority of coParents are able to completely work together and get along for the sake of their children. But learning to understand and respect one another can be beneficial for both you and your children. After all, coParenting should be about going beyond your animosity and dislike for one another so that you can do what is best for your children.
There are reasons why you aren’t with your coParent, but it shouldn’t have any bearing on how you parent your child together.