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Are You on the Same Page With Your Spouse (or Ex?)

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Dr. Meg Meeker

Here are the 5 Keys To Chaos-Free Coparenting

  1. You are a team.
    There are no martyrs and no second string coaches. You’re both on the sidelines, together steering your children into life. Being a team means you’re on the same page regarding important decisions, discipline strategies, and the values you’re instilling in your children. Here’s thing being on the same page, doesn’t happen simultaneously. 99% of co-parents have differing views and opinions. Consistency cannot exist without compromise. When you focus on what’s best for your child you’ll be able to detach your ego and see the big picture.
  1. Pay attention to your co-parent’s needs and your words.
    Do you support each other outside of just parenting situations. Translation, if your partner is having a tough day are you there to lift them up or are you detaching from them? In order to be healthy parents we need to be healthy people. Healthy relationships include maintenance and  respect.
    We may think that we are being helpful when we are offering “constructive” criticism but your words hurt and can severely damage your co-parents confidence or effectiveness especially if that is the only kind of feedback you offer. You will never become a better parent if all you are receiving from one another is criticism.
    Trust me! I spent much of the first half of marriage thinking this was a productive exchange. I realized a decade in that affirmations and complimenting my husband on what he was getting right with our children and relationship was life changing. It gave him confidence, it brought us closer, and improvements occurred as he evolved as a man and father. We were able to have real discussions on our parenting without the added toxicity of a cruel comment or criticism hanging overhead. There was less negative energy which made room for clear communication.
    Our self esteem is important especially as we model healthy relationships to our children. Compliment your co-parent in front of your children and see the positivity it garners.
  1. Troubleshoot your co-parenting in private, please.
    Leave the kids out of it. Your children are more aware then you realize. They can sense negativity and disrespect between their parents.
    Emotional distress is emotionally damaging to your children.
    If you are struggling to see eye to eye or communicate with your co-parent, schedule a private conversation. It’s unrealistic to never fight or disagree, but you need to reach a compromise without an audiences of sponges. Your children will be scared and feel unsafe when they believe their parents can’t get along, even for their sake. It simply is selfish to divulge adult challenges to the most vulnerable people in your life. Your child needs to know their life is stable, their parents will always be there, and that you can come together for their sake no matter what happens.
  1. Apologize when you mess up and move forward.
    Ego has no part of co-parenting and is a toxic element to introduce into your relationship.
    Say sorry if you snap or are disrespectful to your co-parent, and say sorry in front of your children if it happened in front of them. Don’t hold a grudge against a co-parent, it will come out during important family discussions and decisions. If you’re having difficulty letting go, see a counselor with your partner.
  1. Ask for help.
    Parenting is tough. I don’t need to tell you that twice. If your co-parenting relationship needs a professional touch, don’t be ashamed. Many of us have seen counselors, therapists, or mediators in hopes to start anew with our co-parents. If any relationship is worth the effort, it is this one. Your success as co-parents directly mirrors your child’s healthy development and growth as an adult. Don’t skimp or drag your feet if you need help, talk to a trusted confidante and seek help to get back on the right track with your partner.

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Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
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