When you start to co-parent with your ex, it’s important to remember that you’ll be doing more than just watching the kids every now and then. Things will come up that will inevitably require both of you to be there. In these cases, you will have to learn to manage co-parenting events. These public events can be hard to adjust to, but it’s important you work together to keep the peace…
Co-Parenting Events: Adjusting to Change
When co-parenting events, it helps to establish roles beforehand. In particular, you should determine who is the “on-duty” parent and “off-duty” parent. The on-duty parent is usually the one who was watching the kids before the event began. The off-duty parent, in contrast, is the one who didn’t have the kids and comes on their own.
These roles help prevent you from both trying to compete to parent. Instead, the on-duty one should take the lead, like they would if they were watching the kids at their own home. Meanwhile, the off-duty one should be a bit more relaxed, making sure the kids check in with the on-duty parent if they want permission to do things. Alternating these roles will let you keep things fair.
Respect each other
It’s also important to show respect to each other when co-parenting events. Things might be a little tense or awkward between the both of you, especially if the divorce was recent. Making a public appearance together after splitting can cause you or your partner to get a bit anxious or standoffish. Therefore, you don’t want to make matters worse.
Instead, be respectful of how your ex feels. If they want to talk to you, then they’ll probably make that apparent. However, if they’re a bit more distant, then respect that and don’t try and push them to talk. Doing so can just make them angrier and upset, and put a damper on the event for your kids.
Remember why you’re there
Sometimes, it can be easy to forget why you’re co-parenting events in the first place. Worrying about how your ex is going to act can cause you both to lose sight of the bigger picture. You’re both there to support your kids and show your appreciation for them. As a result, try to use this shared goal to help things go smoothly.
When you and your ex start to get somewhat heated or a disagreement arises, take a step back and think about how you don’t want to ruin things for your kids. Talk things out normally and remember the roles you’ve established for the particular event. This can make it a lot easier to avoid arguments and let your kids have the support they need from both of their parents.