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Going through a divorce can bring the worst out of a couple that once promised each other forever. Your world might feel like it’s falling apart, and trying to co-parent when you’re struggling to simply keep going can be overwhelming. Learning to co-parent won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible. Use the five strategies below to start co-parenting with your ex.
By maintaining the focus on what’s best for your children, you can work toward providing as peaceful home as possible for them. Providing them loving stability and structure will help ease them through this time of transition.
As you go through your divorce, your communication with your ex will inevitably suffer. It may be difficult to communicate with them; you may not want to talk to or hear from your ex. However, it’s important that communication regarding the children is maintained, and that your children are not used as messengers (i.e., “Tell your father you have a recital on Friday.”) Communicate directly with your spouse, finding creative ways to communicate to avoid conflict if necessary (text, email, letters, etc.)
If you’re harboring resentment or have unfinished emotional business with your ex, the desire to express your emotional needs can feel overwhelming. Make a commitment to yourself that for the sake of your children’s well being, you’ll keep conversations focused on the issues.
As you go through your divorce, there will be a great deal of change for yourself, your ex and your children. By expecting and embracing change, you’ll reduce the stress you feel when the unexpected presents itself.
Maintaining your health is important not only for you but for your children as well. As they learn to cope with the changes in their family, having a healthy, happy, rested parent will help them adjust. Your children depend on you, and you owe it to them to give them your absolute best as a parent. Additionally, taking time to exercise and eat healthily will help you take the focus off of your divorce, and shift the focus back on to you moving forward, and making positive changes in your life.
As we go through a divorce, we mourn the relationship lost, and the dreams we had of the future. Although your ex is no longer your partner, your ex is still your child’s parent, and you will always be co-parents of the children you have together. Learning to get along and communicate will bring comfort to your children as they learn to cope with their parents’ divorce.
About the Author: Theodosia “Soula” Hareas
One of the McNulty Counseling expert therapists specializing in women’s issues is Soula. As a mother of three herself, Soula Hareas, LMHC, knows the feeling of being overwhelmed by the many roles we as mothers go through so she specializes in counseling other mothers having a difficult time adjusting to the many different life-stages of motherhood. Soula can help you restore balance in your life. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Soula began her career working with victims of trauma such as Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse, and Rape. She is passionate about helping women who are struggling with divorce, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and parenting issues. Soula also partners with the charity Hands Across The Bay to their victims and families counseling for Domestic Violence.