Divorce doesn’t end your coParenting relationship with your former spouse. It only changes some of the form. It is still essential to create a working relationship focused on the optimum care and concern for your children.

Every coParenting relationship will be unique, affected by your post-divorce family dynamics. However, there are guidelines that will enhance the results for children in any family. Here are some crucial points to keep in mind to maximize your coParenting success.

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Respect your coParenter’s boundaries

Chances are your former spouse has a different parenting style than you, with some conflicting rules. Rather than stress yourself about these differences, learn to accept that life is never consistent and it may actually be beneficial for your kids to experience other ways of doing things. Step back from micro-managing your co-parent’s life. If the kids aren’t in harm’s way, let go and focus on only the most serious issues before you take a stand.

Create routine coParent check-ins

The more coParents communicate with one another about the children, the less likely for small issues to grow into major problems. Select days/times for phone, email or in-person visits. Discuss in advance visitation transfer agreements. List who’s responsible for what – each day, week or month. Food, homework, curfews, health issues, allowances, school transportation, sport activities, play dates, holiday plans and more should be clearly agreed upon, when possible – or scheduled for further discussion. Once you have a clear parenting plan structured, follow it to the best of your ability. But allow for last-minute changes and special “favors” to facilitate cooperation.

Encourage your child’s coParent relationship

Regardless of your personal feelings about your ex, your children need a healthy connection with their other parent. Keep snide comments to yourself and don’t discuss your parenting frustrations with your children. Encourage your kids to maintain a caring, respectful relationship with their other parent. Remind them about Mom or Dad’s birthday and holiday gifts. Make time in the weekly schedule for phone calls, cards, email and letters to keep the children’s connection alive when your coParent is at a distance. Your children will thank you when they grow up.

Be compassionate with your in-laws

Remember that a Grandparent’s love doesn’t stop after divorce. If your children had a healthy bond with your former spouse’s extended family, don’t punish them by severing that connection. Children thrive on family attachments, holiday get-togethers and traditions they’ve come to love. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins can be a great source of comfort to children during stressful times and a sense of continuity with the past. Dissolving those relationships is hurtful to both your children and the other family. Think long and hard before making such an emotionally damaging decision.

Above all, be flexible. When you allow calls from your coParent when the kids are in your home, they will be more receptive to your calls when the tables are turned. Remember, you are still a parenting team working on behalf of your children. That commonality should enable you to overlook the thorns in your co-parenting relationship and focus on the flowering buds that are the children you are raising.

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About Rosalind Sedacca

Meet Rosalind Sedacca, CDC…
The Voice of Child-Centered Divorce

Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is a Divorce and Parenting Coach, recognized as The Voice of Child-Centered Divorce. She is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network that provides advice, coaching services, online courses and other valuable resources for parents who are facing, moving through or transitioning after a divorce.

Rosalind is the author of the internationally acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? She has also created the Mastering Child-Centered Divorce 10-Hour Audio Coaching Program with Workbook and Parenting Beyond Divorce: Making Life Better For You & Your Children guidebook. These programs are designed to help parents create the best possible coParenting experience for themselves and their children.

Rosalind is also co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! - as well as the creator of the DatingRescue eCourse and Create Your Ideal Relationship Kit for women and Mastering the Challenges of Dating: A Success Formula for Men. She provides personal coaching services via phone or Skype world-wide and is the co-host of the Divorce, Dating & Empowered Living radio show and podcast.