Parenting after divorce can present challenges. However, there is nothing more challenging that dealing with the impacts going from one household to the other can have on a child. Thus, many parents in New Jersey and elsewhere maintain their focus on limiting stress and negative effects caused by this transition. Although it is a difficult time for parents, as they are going from seeing their children daily to only half of the time or less, this is a significant change for the children involved. It is important for divorced parents to understand not only how to co-parent but to navigate issued caused by the transition between two households.
Creating smooth transitions between households
While there is no prefect way to co-parent, there are steps divorced parents can take to ease the situation. To begin, parents should examine their expectations. Understanding what an ideal transition look like to you and comparing it to your ex’s expectation could help you shift these expectations a bit in order to make them more realistic.
Next, consider what is needed during the transition. Parents shouldn’t overwhelm a child as they part from one parent and reconnect with the other. This may look like not asking too many questions when they enter the house or rely on them to show you affection immediately. Third, it may be beneficial to give the transition an explicit name. While calling is transition may be a valid name, others may use creative names such as stretchy time or bridge. It signals the time the children have to adjust and not be bombarded with things, such as questions or chores.
Creating a ritual is also a helpful step. Making each transition look the same creates predictability and a routine. This can help ensure that it won’t be stressful or wont change. Finally, parents should seek ways to connect with their children while they are apart. Whether it is through phone calls, video chats, texts or emails, it helps the child know you are ok without them but also that you are thinking about them.
Making co-parenting a positive experience
While it is clear that the marriage is over and there is no chance for rekindling the relationship, this does not mean these negative emotions or the end of a romantic relationship is the end of a parenting relationship. Nonetheless, this does not mean is will be an easy experience. It takes time and patience to build a positive co-parenting relationship.
Additionally, there needs to be the right starting point and building blocks to create this bond. If abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse or other serious matter is involved, it may be difficult to establish such a relationship. Thus, divorced parents need to look at their individual and unique situation when considering what a successful co-parenting relationship looks like. For some, it may look like a friendship with great collaboration, but for others, it may look like effective communications on a phone app and showing up for exchanges on time.
Dealing with family law matters can be difficult and emotional. Thus, it is important to understand how best to navigate them, especially when it comes to developing a co-parenting arrangement that benefits the children and considers their best interests.