If you’re a single parent, whether divorced or never married, you will find yourself dealing with a myriad of issues that weren’t part of your dream of having children.
On top of implementing new routines and schedules to fit your new family dynamics, you still have to go to work everyday, get the kids to/from school, and handle running the household without assistance from your former partner.
In addition to all those daily changes, you are also dealing with other issues like paternity tests, divorce paperwork, child support, visitation schedules, missed visit disappointment, along with issues that either of you finding new partners brings for everyone. The list seems to go on forever.
As soon as you feel you may have resolved or conquered one issue, the next one rears its ugly head and the roller coaster begins again. But for the sake of your children and their emotional well-being, life must go on. And it is ultimately up to the adults to make sure that happens when there are minor children involved.
Children from single parent families need reassurance that things will be okay and they need some kind of stability above all else to heal. So how do you achieve stability for your child in a way that acknowledges and sustains the bond children should have with both of their parents and doesn’t compromise your dignity?
Co-parenting is made more difficult if you are dealing with a former spouse or partner who isn’t willing/able to remain in their child’s life on a daily or at least a regular basis. Trying to co-parent effectively can be fraught with emotional wounds between the parents that still need to heal. So how do you make sure that the emotional wounds or possibly unpredictable actions of the other parent don’t interfere with what’s best for your children?
Control, Communication, and Compromise are the three C’s that will help you get through whatever issues you have to deal with from the point of your single status forward. Control your emotions, communicate the needs of your children, and compromise with the other parent to make sure their needs are met.
It’s a tough journey, it takes maturity, and it requires the ability to put your pride and ego in the backseat. You must do your best to give respect while requiring it from the other parent as well. You won’t always do it perfectly and there will be times when your resentment and anger get the best of you.
How do reassure your children that things will be okay when you really aren’t even sure yourself what’s ahead of you?
Have confidence in your ability to provide a life for your children no matter what happens. If you commit to doing whatever it takes to make sure that things are “okay”, then you can confidently project that aura to your children. It’s okay for them to see you frustrated, angry, confused, or sad. The key is to make sure that you role model for your children the appropriate way to deal with and resolve those feelings.
Just as children are different from one another, relationships between parents who have separated, can really vary. What might be an issue for you and your former partner could be a total non-issue for another divorcing couple. While there could be no one set of instructions as to how to co-parent perfectly with your former spouse or partner, there are some basic rules to follow.
- Do not bash your child’s other parent. It’s okay to vent your feelings of frustration or anger to another adult. It’s especially crucial to avoid doing this in front of the children.
- It becomes very important to separate your emotions and relationship with your former partner from the relationship between the children and their other parent. You may need to seek therapy or counseling to identify and separate these emotions and issues so you can make decisions solely based on what’s best for your child’s needs at the time.
- Although it’s natural to want to shield your child from disappointments and you want to avoid speaking negatively about your ex, sometimes it’s better to just give honest answers (without blaming the other parent) so children can begin to accept what’s happening and start the healing process also.
Here’s a great co-parenting guide with some more helpful information>>>>https://www.custodyxchange.com/guides/co-parenting/