5 Easy Ways to Keep the Kids at the Center of Co-Parenting
Separation and divorce are tough on families. During these transitions, the values that once were the core of a family are often thrown for a loop, leaving every family member experiencing many different emotions. For kids, at the center of this situation are questions like when will they get to see each of there parents, was it their fault that their parents split up, and was there something they could have done to prevent it beforehand.
For parents, different questions may come to mind, but they one they should be asking is how can they center their efforts to protect the well-being of their kids and ease any worries they might have. Here are five easy ways to keep the kids at the center of co-parenting.
Show Kids the Support They Need
During such a big transition, kids need extra support from the ones they love the most. As a parent facing this kind of change, put extra effort in keeping your child and their needs in the center of your thoughts. Even though you know that they know it already, make an extra effort to express your affection by telling your kids how loved they are by both of their parents. And even if you think they know it already, be sure to say it to your kids that the divorce or separation was not their fault.
Work Towards a Parenting Agreement that Favors the Kids
Your parenting agreement will lay out the guidelines for co-parenting like your parenting schedule, financial responsibilities, and more. When tasked with formulating a parenting agreement, maintain your kids at the center of any decisions you make. Work to keep tension at bay which could impact your choices throughout this process. Your goal should be to center your agreement on what's best for your kids first and foremost.
Keep the Peace In Front of the Kids
At the center of your divorce or separation may be several deeply rooted issues that are difficult for you and your co-parent to overcome, at least right now. Big conflicts floating around nearly any situation you are both involved with can make it especially hard to have to face each other. However, parenting time transitions, sports games, music recitals, and other events for your kids can create moments where you must be near your co-parent. Moreover, you must still maintain some line of communication to share relevant information about your kids.
As co-parents, keep your kids at the center of your interactions always. Part of this means that you should agree to keep the peace when in the presence of your kids. Do your best to remain calm and collected during parenting time exchanges or events you are both attending for your kids. Avoid topics that you know could create tension, saving any tough conversations for another space. Also, be sure to be aware of the way you speak to each other during phone calls or over text messages. Young ears can easily overhear calls, and text messages can flash across phone screens if your settings are not set to prevent that from happening. For this reason, using an application that separates your co-parenting communication from the other more traditional methods you use can help to keep your conversations secure and centered on your kids.
Involve the Kids in Creating New Traditions
This transition may not be pleasant, and letting go of special traditions that you shared as a family can be hard. Instead of dwelling on the way things were, beat the pre-holiday blues by focusing on how you can make the future fun. Family traditions are central to what makes being part of a family special, and now, it's your and your children's turn to decide what traditions you want to embrace moving forward. Get your kids involved when deciding on how to celebrate special occasions as a family. While you might not attend the same family gatherings or do the same things you once did, it's okay to get creative and come up with new ideas for how to memorialize special occasions.
Keep Communication Clear
Maintaining lines of communication is important when raising kids in separate homes. However, making sure that your communication is clear is even more important. Details can often get lost in long emails or in quick, vague text messages. If tensions between parents is an issue, face-to-face or phone conversations can be challenging to make work. Instead, using a tool that keeps kids and their essential details at the center of communication can help parents achieve clear information exchanges.
Keeping kids at the center of co-parenting isn't always as easy as it sounds. Yet when co-parents are in agreement to work together for the benefit of their children, it can be much easier to keep parenting efforts focused on them.