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Working through parenting challenges with your ex

Having to work with your ex on matters related to your children isn't always easy, but it is necessary. There are varying degrees of cooperation that parents will have to work though as their children grow. When you and your ex have to work closely together, you need to do your part to prevent conflicts.

Even when things in the child custody arrangements get difficult to handle, you can use these tips to help you work with your ex so that your children are able to thrive.

Keep your guard up

If you know that your ex is going to try to pick a fight with you over something, keep your guard up. Be prepared for the jabs that he or she might take at you so that you don't react in an inappropriate manner. You will still need to be cordial, but that doesn't mean that you have to let everything get to you. There is a chance that your ex will try to do things just to get a rise out of you. Don't let that happen.

Focus on your children

Keep your focus on your children. Remember that these years are going to go by quickly and you don't want the memories of this time to be filled with conflict and strife. If you and your ex are together at an event for the children, don't use the time to discuss matters that are contentious. Just enjoy your children.

Plan for discussions

Don't use your children as messengers who have to deal with the communication between you and your ex. You must plan for discussions between parents. These should occur when your children aren't present so that they aren't subjected to adult matters. During these discussions, whether they occur in person, over the phone or through virtual means, you must keep your cool. It might help to use a business-like tone and methods with your ex.

Find out the specifics

A lot of the issues that come up during the course of co-parenting stem from misunderstandings. Take the time to clarify everything. This includes child exchange plans, holiday schedules, decisions about the child's life, and plans for events. It might be a good idea to use emails, texts or other messages to clarify plans. This gives you something to look back at if there are ever any questions. You should also remember that there will be instances in which plans might change, so be prepared for these unexpected twists.

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