Co-parenting couples in Illinois face many hurdles when trying to successfully raise children together after divorce. Admittedly, the pressures of traveling between two homes, meeting new spouses and adhering to crazy schedules can be hectic for the children involved. Parents can mitigate the stress on their children by using a little common sense and following these tips.
Keep your feelings about your ex-spouse to yourself
The first step to establishing cohesive parenting time is to keep your feelings about your ex-spouse to yourself. Whatever transpired to end your marriage is between the two of you, not your children.
When you complain about your ex, your children are caught in the middle. They are allowed to love the both parents, and you need to make them comfortable in doing so. Save all critiquing or complaints for your friends or therapist.
Acknowledge your child’s feelings
Maybe your child complains every time it’s your ex’s turn for parenting time. This is not the time to rejoice in the fact that your child prefers your company but instead to see what lies at the heart of his or her anguish. Empathize with your child and ask how you can help make it better for them. Simply making sure your child always has their favorite things like books, toys or blankets can help to alleviate the anxiety of switching households.
Remember that 50/50 parenting time is not always best
Ideally, both parents have equal time with the children, but this is not always the best situation. When you consider school, extra-curricular activities and parents’ jobs, equal time with the children may not be possible.
Make sure the time you do have with your child is enjoyable. Understand that your parenting situation will change over time. As your children grow, dynamics shift; you may find that your child is spending more time at your ex-spouse’s home or vice-versa depending on their schedule.
Remember to prioritize your children
Parenting is all about spending time raising your children. Keeping your personal feelings to yourself and their best interests at heart can help you and your ex provide a stable co-parenting environment for your children.