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New Year's Resolutions for Successful Co-Parenting - Part I

Usually, when talking about New Year’s resolutions, the drive is self-improvement, such as losing weight or working out. However, this may be an excellent time to reflect on the relationship between you and your co-parent to determine if there’s anything that needs improvement. Not only will this help you have a more fulfilling life, but it will also count many towards your child’s well-being. 

Check out part one for a few ideas on New Year’s resolutions for co-parenting. Also, be sure to check back for part two, which will be posted later this week. We had so many good ideas that they didn’t fit into just one blog!

Disagree Respectfully and Fairly

Disagreements are bound to happen in any co-parenting scenario. How you handle those disagreements can profoundly affect the child and you. Aggression, contempt, intimidation, mean-spirited sarcasm, insults, dismissiveness, and threats are tactics you should avoid at all costs. Instead, be mature and communicate openly to resolve any disagreements, knowing that it is for the best interest of the child. 

Also, never put the child in the middle of any dispute, nor should you argue in their presence. Finally, never talk negatively about the other parent or allow the child to either. It is essential to foster respect in all areas. 

Compromise Amicably

Not only is compromise important, but doing so with good-will and amicable intentions is also crucial. Try to see things from the other parent’s point of view to understand their position. A little give and take are great for any relationship, especially a co-parenting one. If you initiate an amicable compromise, there’s a good chance that it’ll be reciprocated in the future. A good way to accomplish this is to try to understand the other parent. 

Accept the differences and work on ways to find a compromise that works for everyone. Instead of judging their requests or issues, be curious about them, and seek to discover the why behind them. It’s also helpful to analyze the request as seen through what’s in the best interest of the child as opposed to what your ex wants. 

Acknowledge the Positives

Whenever possible, be sure to let the other parent know things they do right. Tell them what aspects and behaviors they exhibit that help you and your child. This may be as simple as thanking them for reminding a child to remember their dental retainers. Or stating out loud that you appreciate that your co-parent dropped the child off, even though it was your turn to pick them up. Maintaining a positive attitude and outlook will make disagreements easier to resolve, and your child will benefit from the positive energy. 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The cornerstone of any healthy relationship is respect, and co-parenting is no different. Whenever speaking to or about the other parent, do so with the same respect and consideration you would want from them. Respect the role and relationship they have with the child as well as their life independent of the child. When they make a decision that you disagree with, remember that they have the right to do so as long as they’re not endangering the child. You don’t have to agree that they allowed a second dessert, but you do have to respect the fact that they can make that decision for their household. 

Be Forgiving 

Any anger or resentment you still hold towards your ex can bleed over and negatively affect the child’s relationship with them and with you. The paramount goal with anything to do with the child is to do what is best for them. To effectively do that, you must find a way to forgive and move on. Not only will all facets of relationships improve between you, your ex, and the child, but it is a valuable life lesson to them on how to handle issues with others. 

Accept the fact that you didn’t work out as a couple, regardless of any faults, and move forward. Staying angry isn’t going to help you be a better parent, and in fact, letting go of that anger will. Model forgiveness, and everyone involved will grow from it.

Hopefully, one or more of these ideas are something you can implement with your co-parent. It will be better for the relationship as well as the children. If you need help navigating your unique co-parenting journey, turn to Family Matters Law Group in Henry County and Clayton County, Georgia. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

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