Three Things to Remember When Sharing Kids After Divorce
Ending a relationship can often feel like a never ending process of dividing things and closing doors to parts of your life that were once intertwined with another person. Moving to new homes, separating clothes and dishes, and cutting ties with mutual friends are all part of this process of concluding a once close relationship. While many things are being divided, former couples who share kids won't be able to separate that part of their lives. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, co-parents must find a manageable way to share the responsibility of raising kids together. Here are three things to remember when sharing kids after divorce.
Remember what it is you're sharing
Kids didn't make the choice for their parents to split up. Many times, they feel blindsided by the change in their family situation and wish for nothing more than for things to go back to the way they were before. Kids don't always know the reasons behind their parents' separation or divorce, nor should they be forced into the middle those issues. For co-parents, part of sharing kids is to understand that you are sharing their time, their experiences, their memories, and so much more. Your kids have emotions and feelings that are in a delicate state in this period of intense change. They need love and support from each of their parents to help them get through this difficult period. For their sake, you and your co-parent should work to find some way to raise your kids together without letting things like past relationship tension or new disputes get in the way. Remembering that you're doing this all for your kids and remaining focused on the future, instead of lamenting the past, can help make this sometimes daunting task less painful.
Open your mind to a shared future
Having kids together means that parents will remain at least somewhat involved in each other's lives for a long time to come. Since this is the case, having a bleak outlook on the future of raising your kids isn't the best way to move forward. Keeping an open mind as you look towards the future can help make it easier for both you, your co-parent and your kids to meet the challenges you all face. This might involve accepting the fact that you and your co-parent may have somewhat different parenting philosophies and house rules. While it can be valuable to have some of your rules in alignment, as long as both of you are putting your child's best interests and safety first, it's okay to have some different views on parenting. Also, keeping a positive attitude in regards to your family situation when around your kids will also be helpful. Even if you're still mourning the end of your relationship or cannot stand to be near your former spouse or partner, your co-parent is an integral part of the lives of your children. It's hard to say what the future holds for any family, but being able to say that both parents are and will be involved in their children's future is a positive place to be. As co-parents, planning ahead for the future is made much easier if you both remain updated on the relevant facts surrounding your children.
Stay on top of shared details
Whether living close together or far apart, co-parents should both stay on top of what's going on in the lives of their children. Being able to communicate frequently and in a friendly manner makes this a simple task, yet many co-parents find their situation to be much different. Even if you have a hard time talking with your co-parent, it is still possible to find a middle ground for communication. Web mediums can help co-parents streamline the task of sharing information like schedules, files, messages, and much more. Moreover, using just one web medium specifically for your shared parenting communications helps to keep this important information organized. Shared information for the kids such as calendars, medical details, expense histories, school updates, photos, and so much more is made readily available to both parents when it's arranged in such a way that keeps it separated from all of the other personal details that each parent needs to maintain. Keeping this information separate from other communications and media helps to simplify the task of focusing on it in the moments you need to.
All in all, sharing kids after divorce is a duty that should be approached with patience and respect. It may take some time for your family to reach a place where sharing kids along with their calendars, expenses, and other information feels effortless, so the time and work you put into it is valuable even when it's hard. Always keep in mind that to share kids is to share their love and joy with the other person who created them. Stay opened minded when it comes to the future, always trying to look on the bright side of things. Throughout the whole process of sharing kids, consistently stay on top of all of the important details that you and your co-parent must share to effectively raise your children together. Whether doing all of these things comes natural to you or feels like having your teeth pulled, it can be helpful to speak to a legal or mental health professional and discuss ways to effectively manage shared parenting.
Managing the responsibility of sharing kids doesn't have to be so difficult. The tools offered by the OurFamilyWizard® website can help make it easier for you to share and organize important family information, stay on top of your child's schedules, document communication with your co-parent, and much more. Sign up and get started today!