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Conversations With Your Ex for Effective Co-parenting

I stay in regular contact with my ex and here's why it's a good thing

I have a number of friends who are divorced or separated. And for them let's be honest, it's a shitshow. Not pleasant, not fun, everyone hates each other, kids are torn between the two. Both parents try to point score by putting the other down and trying to make the kids think they are the better parent. I can see how this happens. Break ups are usually unpleasant. Things are wrong in the relationship, affairs have been made, words have been said, love has disappeared.

Conversations with your ex

It Doesn't Need to Be That Way

It's not beneficial is it? For you, for the kids, for their mum, it sucks for everyone. If you don't want it this way then it might be you who needs to instigate the change. This might mean swallowing your pride, apologising, and then agreeing that even if you still can't stand each other, you need to put the kids first. Effective co-parenting for dads means having conversations with your ex. Ok, for some of you these burnt bridges can never be put back together. But you need to at least try. If she is trying but you keep pushing back, then stop and be an adult. If you are trying, but she pushes back, give it some time, give her some space but keep trying for the sake of your children.

Co-parenting conversations with your ex is a gift

It might not be the gift your children want, but it's close to the best you can give them if you can do it well. As an effective co-parent you should be having regular conversations with your ex. Texts are fine for short not too important exchanges and I find these happen almost every couple of days. Usually things like 'He's left his PE kit at your place, can I swing by and pick it up.' or 'School just called and said she's sick. I'm in a meeting are you able to pick her up?' Sounds simple right, but the number of people who can't or don't do this because they don't have a good co-parenting relationship is astounding. At 'changeover day' try to have a decent conversation or debriefing of what has happened whilst they've been with you, anything important that's happened, any plans or events that might be coming up soon for the kids so you can both be on the same page.

You should try to both be consistent in your expectations of behaviour regardless of whose house they're at. Manners, respect, homework, chores, bedtimes, try to make these as consistent as possible as it will alleviate problems down the track when the kids try to play you off against each other. And they will.

Keep those lines of communication open!

For more information, check out this article on co-parenting:

co-parenting for the kids' sake

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