You can’t shake your head at celebrities like Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna if your own co-parenting relationship is trash. People end up raising children outside of marriage or co-habitating relationships for many reasons. Regardless of how you got there, you’re doing a 20-year bid, so the sooner you commit to a positive perspective, the better it will be for you.
Some folks won’t admit it, but they like drama. These are the people who bad mouth their exes, post personal “house” business on social media, and wait until they have an audience to pick an argument. If that’s not, or no longer, your style and you’d like to improve your situation, read on for tips on how to be a better co-parent.
Be an Amazing Partner
In the eyes of the law and society, you and your ex are a family. There are some exes who are committed to acting out and some who simply need time to move past hurt. Either way, you cannot let this person’s actions get you off your parenting game. Keep your word. Show up at PTA meetings. Volunteer for school trips. Actively co-parent and let your investment in your child speak to your character.
Engage In Honest Negotiations
No one wants to see their ex living their best life while they struggle, especially if they have custody of the child. Be fair in what you can offer, or ask for, when it comes to financial support and partnership. Hiding funds or demanding too much from your ex only leads to bitterness.
Stay On Top of Visitation and Custody
Women often have physical custody of children and are assumed to be the “best caretakers,” even if it’s not the case. If you’re a man who wants joint custody or more than weekend visitation, negotiate for it. Go on the record that you want to be an active parent.
Understand Separate Isn’t Equal
The parent who has custody does more. Period. Even if the person is lazy and irresponsible, he or she has to watch the child breathe more hours of the week than the non-custodial parent. Be understanding of the stress that accompanies full custody and considerate when it’s time to compromise.
Money can be a big trigger for drama between exes. If the custodial parent wants extra support for meaningful things, such as camps, afterschool activities, or even summer vacation, consider the value it adds to the child’s life before giving an answer. If you are the custodial parent, be considerate about the asks you place on your ex. Don’t assume they have to pay for everything you want for the child. Talk it out.