Divorce can be a very “me-centric” experience for Texas parents, and that’s understandable. We’re all human, and when your once-loving marriage ends, it’s understandable how bitterness and anger can threaten to consume you.
But when you have children, it’s crucial not to let those feelings overwhelm you and your former spouse’s responsibility to lessen the pain for your kids. Many have also found that conquering those negative feelings by focusing on their children’s well-being can provide relief.
Don’t give in to these co-parenting “don’ts”
Our last article focused on two approaches to co-parenting with your ex and added some tips for healthy problem-solving outcomes. Here are some common actions every co-parent should try to avoid:
- Don’t trash talk: Making rude or angry comments about the other parent in front of a child can be seen as a way to sabotage their relationship. In many cases, this backfires, and the child may come to resent one or both parents.
- Don’t jump to conclusions: Hearing unflattering information about your ex from your kids should always be taken with a grain of salt. Research shows kids can even learn to distrust you if you pile on or encourage them to keep going.
- Commit to consistent discipline: Don’t try to get back at your ex by letting your kids avoid responsibility or punishment when failing to follow household rules. It’s to both parents’ advantage (as well as their children’s) to maintain consistent practices in both homes.
- Don’t let guilt lead to overindulgence: Divorced parents often resort to spoiling their kids in an effort to make up for the pain they feel. But trying to be the cool parent is rarely beneficial to anyone. When it comes to co-parenting, boring and steady is a better strategy.
- Don’t accuse – discuss: If the other parent does something you disagree with regarding your kids’ welfare, don’t stay silent. But commit to a rational discussion instead of finger-pointing. Work together to find a solution.
In the end, you and your co-parent want what’s best for your children. Committing to open and civil communication and consistency over maintaining rules in both households is a better route in achieving that goal. This approach will also likely give your kids better coping and communication skills as they get older.