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5 tips for successful co-parenting after divorce

Raising children after divorce can be more of an emotional rollercoaster than the actual divorce. Divorced parents may hope to never see their ex again, but this is often just wishful thinking when you have children together.

Co-parenting is often easier said than done. There is a reason you ended your marriage, but you don't have to let those reasons ruin your ability to create happy memories with your children. Parenting with your ex will take time and effort, but the end result will be a more stable and less stressful environment for you and your children.

Here's a list of five things to consider to create a better parenting relationship with your ex:

1. Cooperation is key: You do not have to try and be best buds with your ex. In fact, this could create a much bigger burden than necessary. However, both of you should be respectful and try to work together to raise your children. This can include discussing decisions regarding school work, after school activities and religious upbringing with an open mind before any final decisions are made.

2. Be flexible: Having a plan in place is great and creates structure for you and your children. However, don't forget to be flexible and open to changing your parenting schedule when things come up. There will likely be a day when you need your ex to do the same so communicate with each other and address any concerns as soon as possible to avoid bigger disputes.

3. Do not talk bad about each other in front of the kids: Your children see and hear a lot more than you think. Do not say demeaning or negative things about your ex when your child is around. It is best for your child to have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents and talking poorly about each other may lead to your child resenting one or both of you in the end.

4. It is not a competition: Parenting awards are not real. You should not be in competition with your ex to see who is the better parent or who is better liked by your children. This can only create resentment and disagreements between parents, especially if one parent feels like they are "less loved" by their children because their ex is always buying them gifts. Instead of competing with each other, make sure you are creating a stable and loving relationship with your children so they know they can trust and rely on you to always be there for them.

5. Work as a team: You do not have to have the same views to successfully co-parent with your ex. However, understanding where your ex is coming from and validating their feelings will help both of you create a better parenting arrangement that ensures your children are put first. You can work together by setting the same guidelines at home, such as setting a bedtime or curfew, while still being flexible to your personal preferences in parenting.

Parenting is one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs you will ever have. Even though you and your ex are no longer together, you will always be linked because of your children. That is why it's important to work together to create a parenting arrangement that works for both you, and these tips can put you in the right mindset, whether you just got divorced or have been parenting with your ex for many years.

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