Finding Common Ground for Successful Coparenting With an Ex

With divorce not being nearly as uncommon as it may have been for past generations, many ex-spouses today find themselves in a position where they have to navigate the difficult path of coparenting. Although it can be difficult to put one’s own feelings aside and focus on what’s best for the child or children, there are certainly ways to develop proper cooperation and raise well-adjusted and happy individuals.

Mark Hoffer's color illustration about coparenting of child balancing on top of school in-between two sets of parents.
Cooperating for the Kids’ Sake

Although it’s not uncommon to hear that divorce is bad for kids, that is a generalization that isn’t always correct. Children, in many cases, tend to suffer more from having to witness parent-parent conflicts. Even if the romantic aspect of a relationship has ended, it’s still necessary to develop strong coparenting skills and maintain support and cooperation in order to raise mentally-strong kids. It’s important to avoid undermining one’s ex in front of the child or getting into conflict with the co-parent to avoid causing symptoms in the child such as anxiety, depression, or acting out.

Parents quarreling at home, child is suffering.
Finding Common Ground

It’s more than likely that the romantic issues that lead to the divorce or breakup will continue to leak into the ex-partners’ joined parenting efforts. There are several ways to manage this, starting with communication. It’s advised to create a structured approach to managing only parental concerns, be it through an email chain, a weekly phone call, or voicemails. Parents should work on regulating their emotional responses towards the ex-partner, use a low-conflict mode of communication, such as email, and actively focus on the wellbeing of the children.

Parents listening to each other
Coparenting Can Help Ex-Spouses Adjust

Divorce is a major life decision and a big adjustment for both parties involved. When working on improving their coparenting skills for the wellbeing of a child, the ex-spouses can also have an easier time handling the post-divorce adjustment. Even if the relationship can’t be perfect, it’s important to continuously work on it becoming manageable and low-conflict.