Co-parenting can be one of the most difficult parts of a divorce.   Through the pain, parents are tasked with putting aside their hurt and anger to focus on the best interest of a child.  Sometimes, this can be a pretty tall order, but it is definitely worth the effort.  It is important to remember that the divorce is probably emotionally difficult for your child(ren) too, so KEEPING YOUR COOL and focusing on what it in the best interest of the child, even if it means being more humble than usual, is always the best course of action.

Parenting through the pain of a divorce can feel almost unbearable at times for sure.  But, creating an emotionally safe environment for your child before, during and after the divorce is so important to your child’s emotional health now and in the future.

Through your co-parenting relationship with your ex, your child(ren) should recognize that they are even more important than the struggle and disagreement(s) that ended the marriage.   Also, it is important that they realize that your love for them will remain intact regardless of any family changes.   Sometimes kids wonder, “If my mom and dad can stop loving each other, will they stop loving me?”.  So, be certain to let your child(ren) know, through your actions and words, that they are at the center of your focus and your love for them is never ending.

It is important that children feel secure during the entire process, as well. This will help your child(ren) adjust more rapidly and with less emotional impact to divorce, as well as have better self-esteem through it all.

Also, focus on being consistent with family rules, expectations, discipline methods, schedules and such.  A predictable environment, even with family changes that come with divorce, can help kids feel secure and emotionally safe.

It is imperative to communicate with your spouse in a respectful way, even when you don’t agree on issues.  Find the strength to resist the urge to “trash talk” the other parent to and/or in front of your child.  Talking bad about their other parent can feel confusing to them and foster feelings of guilt and shame, which can be incredibly painful.  Children need love from both of their parents, especially through a divorce. It is important to know that by working with the other parent in a respectful manner, you will establish a healthy parenting model for your child(ren) to use later on in life.

Sometimes, co-parenting can be extraordinarily difficult though when you still feel angry, hurt, and all of the other emotions that can surface during this time.    Therapy can help people heal their broken hearts and move forward with a happier, healthier life that is conducive to good parenting, even with someone that is difficult to get along with.

Take a deep, rejuvenating breath, be kind to yourself and others, and take it one day at a time if necessary.  Take care, Jackie

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