Parenting is difficult even under the best of circumstances. When you are no longer in a relationship with the other parent, the difficulty is increased. You always have to think about what is best for your children when you are co-parenting.
There are many tips to make co-parenting easier, but you have to figure out which ones apply to your circumstances. Almost every situation can benefit from these five basic tiips.
Respect from all parties
Mutual respect is necessary if you are going to make co-parenting work. Without respect, you are in for a rough decade or so of co-parenting. Whether you are talking to or about your ex, you need to make sure that you aren't speaking ill of him or her. This teaches your children that respect isn't dependent upon getting along.
No harping on mistakes
Mistakes are going to happen. When they do, forgive. You and your ex are human and aren't always going to be perfect. Whether the mistakes are due to miscommunication or simply not doing something as promised, you should be willing to work with your ex to rectify the situation, even if it wasn't your doing.
Focus on the kids
Your kids have to remain at the focus of the co-parenting relationship. You will almost certainly find that the other tips in this list come together better when you keep the kids at the center of the decisions both parents make. This can be from deciding on the child's medical care to making vacation plans for the summer. Don't become focused on a "you versus your ex" scenario that could lead to either parent neglecting to do what is best for their children.
Adults handle responsibilities
Responsibilities should be handled by the adults only. You can't expect your children to behave like small adults. You and your ex should be the ones to speak to each other about problems and decisions. Don't force your children to relay messages to the other parent. You should even go a step beyond that and make sure that your children are never privy to any disagreements.
One family for the children
Living with your family split up is difficult. For children who of divorced parents, being able to consider your family as one unit that happens to live in two homes might be comforting. As co-parents, you should work to ensure that your children have consistency from one home to theother.