We all want what’s best for our kids. When it comes to parenting with an ex, that means being patient and selfless from time to time. Your divorce was necessary, sure. But, what’s even more necessary, is being able to parent through it and with your ex afterwards. Collaborative parenting rules are important to making sure that you and your ex are on the same page, and so is your child. While there are plenty of tactics we could offer about guidelines for your kids, these are guidelines for you two. We hope with these rules, you’ll be able to become a better co-parent and, in turn, have a much easier time when it comes to custody trouble.

Collaborative Parenting Rules: Parenting with your Ex (and not going insane)

It’s Not About You

It’s not about you, it’s about your children. A divorce is difficult for them. But what’s even more difficult, is when their parents put them into the center of it all. By coming together as parents instead of exes, you’ll be able to tackle your parenting roles head on and make sure you’re taking care of your child. When it comes to visitation rights and joint parenting, it’s ill-advised to make decisions about your child and well-being out of spite. Ultimately, you’re hurting your children as well as your ex, and I can guarantee, you’re only meaning to hurt one person.

You want your children to live a happy, healthful life, and have a positive childhood experience regardless of your marriage. You might not think so, but a divorce can be much less damaging than a bad marriage. However, it’s all in how you and your former spouse handle it. That’s why this above all else, is number one when it comes to collaborative parenting rules.

Be Realistic About Your Schedule

You want as much time with your children as possible, but don’t spread yourself too thin. There are two of you for a reason, and barring any negative behaviors on part of the other parent— you should be as collaborative as possible. Be realistic when it comes to what you can handle, and allow for your ex to split the duties of being a parent. No one expects you to handle it all. Understand the demands of your life, such as your career, your kids, your personal life, and your parenting schedule. Then, find ways (together) to split it all up. Making a co-parenting calendar is an extremely productive way to split responsibility.

Let your ex parent in the way they want to

Barring any destructive behaviors, let your ex be the parent they want to be. You wouldn’t want them telling you how to act, feel, punish, or make rules. So, withhold on the same things with them. You two won’t agree on everything, and that’s fine. Ultimately, you two need to craft a set of rules that are universal (between both homes), and then giving points. Your kids will adjust with time, and come to understand that each household is different and that’s okay. Ultimately, as long as you two have a set of ground rules, you’ll be just fine.

Adjust with time

There will inevitably be growing pains. Every family has them, especially in the early stages. So, be flexible and understanding. Be clear, consistent, and allow for growth and change between households. As your kids get older, your parenting styles may vary more and more but that’s okay and normal. Every parent is different, even when they come in a set. So, go with the flow a bit!