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How to co-parent your children like a pro

The biggest challenge of co-parenting is the fact that there's no playbook you can follow. It's up to you, your ex and your children to figure things out along the way, and that can often result in mistakes, mix-ups and hurt feelings.

You won't be perfect when it comes to co-parenting, but here are some tips you can follow to get on the right track:

  • Don't make everything about you: Your personal feelings, wants and needs are important, but a focus on your children is what matters most. When you make everything about you, you're more likely to upset your ex and focus on things that don't really matter.
  • Be flexible with schedules: Yes, you created a parenting agreement and visitation schedule. And yes, you want to follow the terms and conditions as closely and as often as possible. Just make sure you also remember the importance of flexibility. There will be times when you or your ex needs to adjust a schedule.
  • Communicate efficiently: If you don't have a clear method of communication in place, your ability to successfully co-parent will suffer. Try everything from phone calls to text messages to email communication, and don't stop until you settle on something that works for the two of you.
  • Choose your battles wisely: When co-parenting, you can find something to argue about every day of the week. But if you do this, it will put additional strain on you, your ex and your children. There are times when it's worth confronting your ex and times when you're better off letting things go.
  • Give yourself time off: For example, when your children are spending the weekend with your ex, take time to recharge. Taking care of your mind and body allows you to be a better parent in the future.

These tips don't guarantee you of avoiding all mistakes, but they'll definitely position you for co-parenting success. When your ex is on the same page, you're able to work together to provide your children with stability.

Conversely, if your ex is more interested in causing a fuss and doing their own thing, it's time to review your parenting agreement with the possibility of requesting a modification from the court.

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