It’s not always easy to keep stay positive post-divorce. But, if you have children, it’s worth making the extra effort to do so.
The good news is that by doing so both you and your children will be better off for it.
Fake It Until You Feel It
Keeping up an image of strength and happiness can take some practice, especially when you don’t feel it. However, with practice and patience you'll begin feeling more confident in your co-parenting and have no need to fake your strength and happiness.
Here are three strategies to keep in mind.
Be a Good Role Model
Your children’s worlds are a lot smaller than your own. That means they pick up on very small details you might not expect. They can tell when there’s anger in your voice when you’re on the phone talking to their other parent or during a drop-off.
Keep your voice and emotions under control, no matter how angry or upset you are on the inside. You want to show your children how to handle stressful situations.
You also want to show your ex that you’re not easily shaken and you will do whatever you need to for the sake of your children. In a way, you can also be a role model for him or her.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Angry words put people into defensive postures, and your ex-spouse is no different. There’s absolutely no reason to get nasty and make threats. That’s why you have a lawyer.
Additionally, avoid ultimatums at all costs. They leave no room for compromise and invite confrontation more than they offer a solution, and again, you have a lawyer to handle anything that may become confrontational.
This also compounds with the first tip and you can show your ex that by keeping things friendly, the two of you can have a stress free co-parenting relationship.
Know Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing
Taking the high road is not always easy. After all, you and your ex split because you are no longer compatible, or maybe you never were in the first place.
But, every time you feel like you may lose your cool, remember why you’re working so hard to maintain civility. A smooth co-parenting relationship is at the end of the day, in the best interest of your children.
Forced smiles will eventually turn into real smiles because you know what you’re doing if for the sake of improving your children’s lives. You’ll show them what a healthy relationship looks like, how to treat other people whether you agree with them or not, and how to be a good person overall.
It won’t be easy. Your ex will test you.
Just do your best to keep a cool head in the early stages of your co-parenting relationship. Keep communication with your ex open but short and confined. Discuss only what needs to be discussed and keep all your texts, emails, and any other communication focused solely on your children.
You may not be able to control your situation, but when you control yourself, your children will be better for it.
For more in-depth help, read the free guide Mindful Co-parenting Guide: Helping Children Cope with Divorce