Sometimes a divorce is inevitable if your ex-spouse was not treating you kindly. But if there are kids involved, coparenting is going to also be inevitable, no matter how difficult your ex can be. After divorce and throughout the co-parenting process, some people can be as difficult as possible, and it can seem like they are trying to make life hard for you at every possible opportunity. If you are currently coparenting your kids with a difficult ex, one of the main things to consider is the adverse impact that this can have on your children, and how to lessen this.
Set Firm Boundaries
When kids are growing up, they need consistency in order for them to feel safe and secure. It’s important to set boundaries with a difficult ex and with your kids, especially when it comes to what they are and are not allowed to do. After a divorce, it can be easy for either parent to feel guilty on the impact that this has had on their kids and some parents want to seem more ‘fun’ by giving into everything the child wants, but this can end up being more hurtful for your kids instead, especially if it stops after you’ve become more used to coparenting. While setting boundaries might make you feel like the bad guy, remember that they are important for raising healthy, well-rounded kids.
Use Coparenting Tools
If you feel like you cannot talk to your ex-partner about anything without them turning it into an opportunity to argue with you and put you down, then you will be glad to hear that there are several coparenting tools that you can use to make the process of communication easier. Discussing expenses for anything to do with the children can sometimes be a tough one when you have a difficult ex-partner. This coparenting app, Onward, is designed to make it easier for you to share expenses with your ex-spouse. You can use the coparenting app to simply add any expenses that they need to pay you back for or pay towards. There’s also the option to add a receipt, if your ex is the type who would accuse you of asking for more than you actually need, and you can easily make payments using the app.
Avoid Talking About the Other Parent Negatively
While it is tempting to vent about your difficult ex and what they are putting you through while trying to coparent your kids, it’s important to only do this when you are not near your kids. Avoid talking badly about your ex to your children or to anybody else when the children are around and can hear you. Kids can be very easily affected by the environment that they are raised in and it’s important to remember that while you might be very happy to never see your ex or speak to them again, they’re still your child’s other parent and they still love them. If you do have to talk about your ex, encourage only positive talk or be realistic about how your kids feel, rather than speaking disrespectfully about the other parent.
Focus on the Needs of Your Children
It can make coparenting easier when you realize that this process is all about the children and has nothing to do with your relationship with your ex-spouse. When dealing with your ex-partner, you might need to have a more business-like attitude with them. You don’t have to be friends with them at all to coparent successfully; all you need is to both want the same thing when it comes to your kids, which is for them to be happy and grow up in a safe environment. Stick to only talking with them about topics that are necessary for your kids and avoid discussing your life beyond parenting with them. Yes, you will probably feel like tearing into them if you feel that they are letting the kids down, but it’s important to keep a cool head.
Manage Your Expectations
Most people who coparent with a difficult ex-partner will agree that having too high expectations of them is only going to set you up for disappointment. Chances are that after you split up or divorce, things could go either way. Your ex might realize that they need to make more of an effort to spend quality time with and improve their bond with their children, but there’s also a chance that this does not. If they were too busy to spend a lot of time with the kids when you were together, be realistic and don’t expect this to change much now that you are not.
Coparenting can be difficult at the best of times, and some ex-partners are always going to try and make it as difficult as possible for you. Keep these tips in mind to make life easier if you are trying to coparent with a difficult ex.