Navigating divorce with children is challenging. You and your spouse are ready to part ways, but when you have children, it means you will still need to work together.
Regardless of the origin of the circumstances of your divorce, figuring out how you will parent your children from two separate households will not always be easy. Ultimately, however, you both have the same goal; doing what is best for your children.
Here’s what you should keep in mind as you adjust to a new style of parenting.
Wanting what is best does not always look the same
In general, you and your spouse want many of the same things for your children. You want them to be happy and healthy and kind. You also want them to develop good habits like doing their homework and eating their vegetable.
Typically, the issue arises when it comes time to decide how to encourage children to have the positive traits you hope for.
When you and your spouse disagree about your parenting styles, try to start the conversation by understanding their perspective. When you can start from a place where you are assuming positive intentions, you are more likely to reach an agreement on how to foster your children’s growth.
Strive for balance
Parents often have a challenging time adjusting to changing custody. Typically, the tilt toward extremes of checking in too often when the children are with the other parent or still seeming checked out when it is time to have custody again.
Aim to only check in with your children when they (or their other parent) need something. On the other hand, try to pick up where you left off with them last time when it is your time to have custody.
Balance can help you and your children adjust to your new normal. If you are unsure where you are at in achieving balance, look at how your children respond to your actions.
The longer you and your spouse co-parent, the more you will learn to collaborate and advocate for your children, even when you no longer live together.