Being KIND Is the Key to Successful Co-Parenting, Even When Your Ex Is Acting Like a Jerk
Dealing with difficult people is part of being an adult. Little children get visibly upset whenever their favorite swing on the playground isn’t available, or whenever someone won’t share with them, but growing up means figuring out which of life’s inconveniences are worth fighting about. Likewise, having a successful marriage means knowing when to speak up, respectfully of course, about your discontent, and when to keep your mouth shut and let the small things go. In other words, you learn to see the big picture and make short-term decisions in accordance with your long-term goals, both at work and in your personal life. When you are co-parenting after divorce, you are no longer trying to repair your relationship with your spouse; that ship has already sailed. It is still important to look at the big picture, though; how successfully you co-parent with your ex can affect your relationship with your children now, as well as after your children grow up. Your ex-spouse might make this difficult, but a Mississauga child custody lawyer can help you draft and enforce a parenting plan that is conducive to a successful co-parenting relationship.
How to Be KIND to Your Co-Parent
After the court has issued your parenting plan, your ex-spouse might continue to exhibit the same flaky, volatile, and inconsiderate behaviors that led to your divorce in the first place. Common sense says that you should disengage from all of your ex-spouse’s drama so that you can be emotionally present for your children, but this is a challenge when your ex throws a tantrum whenever your child arrives at your ex’s house looking less than photogenic, or when your ex changes holiday plans at the last minute.
A manageable approach to co-parenting with a disagreeable ex is to be KIND. K stands for kid-centered, I stands for informative, N stands for nice, and D stands for direct. In other words, behave the same way toward your ex-spouse as you would toward a coworker with whom you do not have a natural affinity. Don’t talk to your ex unless it is about your children; co-parenting works best when both co-parents mind their own business instead of antagonizing each other about issues not related to their children. Be professional in your communications with your spouse; remember that behaving unkindly in the presence of your children can count against you in family court. If your ex-spouse seems determined to push your buttons, it is best to communicate by text message instead of talking to each other on the phone or face-to-face. In texting your ex still proves to be a recipe for conflict, communicate through an intermediary such as an extended family member or your lawyer.
Contact Zagazeta Garcia LLP About Co-Parenting With Your Ex-Spouse
A family lawyer can help you navigate a difficult co-parenting relationship with your former spouse. Contact Zagazeta Garcia LLP in Mississauga, Ontario to discuss your case.