The Best Strategies to Win at Competitive Co-Parenting…
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An excerpt from our Split.fyi Newsletter
If you have kids and you are thinking about, going through, or have gone through a divorce then you might have the urge to prove to everyone who will listen that you are the better parent. You might even be right but screaming it from a mountain top is not going to validate how you feel. Parenting is a selfless job that reaps its rewards in the subtleness of watching your babies grow into adults. No parenting playbook is a one-size-fits-all for the different types of children born into this world. Yet there are some best strategies to win at competitive co-parenting.
Trial and Error
Parenting is a lot of trial and error but what ranks highest on the parenting best practices list is doing what is best for your kids. Deciphering what is best is never easy, especially if it is in the hands of just one parent. What is “best” is not always what is optimum for the child. Often it is what’s best for the parent. It can create a slippery slope and have you thinking that you’re the only one who knows what is best.
It is very hard to hear the other parents’ concerns or desires if you are viewing them from the same lens that you carry your own desires. In fact, in this scenario, the only desires that go amiss are those of your kids. Unfortunately, it is very easy to fall into the parental competition game. The need to validate the love you have from your child can become so indulgent that you might completely miss out on the natural love you already have and will gain from your child, always.
Your baby is born into this world with the need to be loved and cared for so it is essential that you do your best to make co-parenting work for your children. They need love from both parents, even if it looks different than your partner/parenting expectations. Since competition creates a toxic environment it will ultimately have a negative effect on your child’s development.
When both parents are parenting effectively, your kids are more secure and might feel fewer divorce effects and less impact. Isn’t that a goal worth attaining?
Success Strategies that Work!
Here are some suggestions to ease your way into greater co-parenting success:
- Communication is key! Learn how to diffuse conflict through your language, communication skills, and tone of voice.
- Compromise is essential. Try to seek out win-win compromises or solutions.
- Check-in with your children’s needs often. Talk to your kids about what matters to them, how they feel, what they want from you.
- Build a village of support around you. Do yourself a big favor and reach out for Divorce Coach support, find professionals who will help you and find a friend you can count on who gives you trusted advice.
- Let it go. Agree to disagree and move on at times.
- Put your children first. Put your kids’ healthy gratification ahead of your ego gratification.
- Use an online co-parenting app scheduling tool to reduce conflict, such as Your Family Wizard.
- Pick your battles. Make long-term co-parenting success more important than winning short-term battles. These most likely will be meaningless in a few weeks or months or a year.
Co-parenting isn’t always easy. Yet, it’s a challenge worth stepping up for. Your children will be affected by every decision and action you, as co-parents, create- cohesiveness or conflict. Trust that, those same children will hold you responsible when they grow up and ask you, “Why did you do that? What were you thinking?” “Why did you not listen to my needs?”
As their parents, you know they deserve the world! And by taking the competition out of co-parenting, everyone WINS! ????
Guest author: Laila Aitken, Split.fyi Founder
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