Are you divorced or in the process of divorcing? Does your co-parent drive you bananas at times? You are certainly not alone. Many divorced parents are frequently frustrated by the behaviors and attitudes adopted by their co-parents. However, for your child’s benefit, it is generally important that you resolve to treat both your co-parent and your co-parenting relationship with a certain degree of respect.
Certainly, if your co-parenting relationship is abusive, controlling or otherwise unworkable, you may need to speak to your family law attorney about modifying your child custody arrangements. However, most tense co-parenting relationships are more inconvenient than outright unworkable. In these situations, respect for the other and for the relationship itself is important.
We have mentioned before that it can be helpful to think of your co-parenting relationship as a business partnership. When individuals co-exist as business partners, they need not necessarily like each other in order to advance the mission of the business. In your co-parenting relationship, your main goal is to ensure that the best interests of your child are served. When you begin approaching your interactions with your co-parent with this in mind, this altered approach will likely help you treat your co-parent and your co-parenting relationship with more intention and with more respect.
As long as you and your co-parent both remain in your child’s life, your child will benefit from you pursuing a healthy co-parenting relationship. You may not be able to control your co-parent’s actions, but you can ensure that your own actions are intentioned and respectful. Your approach will likely benefit your child, yourself and your co-parenting relationship.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The Most Important New Year’s Resolution You’ll Ever Make (as a Divorced Parent),” Kate Scharff, Dec. 30, 2014