Co-parenting can be so hard as the anxiety, stress and conflict seems to always escalate at every handover! Even on your way to drop the kids off you feel your anxiety levels rise as though you are marching into battle or if you’re waiting for them to be dropped off feel under threat with the anticipation of an attack on arrival. Preparing yourself for yet another conflict, you find yourself getting ready by being on the defensive or come out flying to attack first to show you’re not to be messed with. Isn’t it exhausting?
How do you think the kids feel to see their parents at war with each other being mean, nasty and spiteful? Walking from the car to the house they appear to be walking on eggshells as though navigating their way through a field of landmines hoping not to get caught in the crossfire.
As parents we need to put aside how we feel about the breakup, how we feel about the ex, and how we feel about how life has turned out. What’s done is done, there is no benefit rehashing what has happened in the past as it won’t change it, no benefit in lashing out blaming your ex and making their life hell as it will delay everyone moving forward and healing from the divorce. Everyone is transitioning to a new family structure and there is a lot of adjusting to do. The way you manage that transition directly correlates to the length of time it takes to recover and rebuild your lives.
The key is to manage it like a business relationship dealing with a difficult client and very precious assets (your children). We have all had to be respectful, patient, and calm to seek win/win solutions to achieve the common goal of caring for that precious asset (your children) with clients. It is vitally important to be flexible, co-operative and be willing to compromise. Any aggravation can result in the difficult client refusing to co-operate and take the precious asset restricting your access to it. The relationship needs to be fair to all, not one over powering the other and ensure there is equality of rights.
It is important to ensure that you don’t react impulsively but take time out to think through various options and actions and their resulting outcomes to ensure the action chosen represents a win/win for everyone so there is minimal friction.
At The Divorce Centre our parenting after separation program teaches you to be your best self and how to manage day to day challenges to seek a win/win solution so the whole family can rebuild two loving homes for their children to thrive in.