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Co-parenting: What not to do

Let's be honest: Co-parenting can be hard. You and your ex still have to raise your kids. You both have a right to see them. You have to work together to do this. You can end your marriage, but you can never stop being parents.

To help you approach it, here are a few things you do not want to do:

  • Do not give the kids their way just because you feel guilty. Many parents spoil their kids after divorce, and it can lead to all sorts of behavioral problems.
  • Do not attempt to work against your ex just because you don't like each other. Do not undermine their rules or work to turn the kids against your ex.
  • Do not try to become the fun parent that they love more. It's tempting, but it causes issues for the kids and makes that relationship harder in the long run. Have fun with the kids, of course, but don't try to outdo your ex by buying more presents or ignoring the rules.
  • Never get angry with your ex in front of your kids. Keep your emotions in check. If you have questions or concerns, sit down and have a discussion to get to the bottom of it. Do not start it as an argument when it may not need to be one.

Of course, it is also important to make sure you know what your custody rights are and how they help to define your relationship with your kids -- and your ex -- moving forward. This can help avoid conflicts and confusion.

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