When we marry we pray for that “happily ever after,” fairytale relationship everyone dreams of. Unfortunately life does not always work out that way for everyone, divorce becomes a harsh reality, along with breaking up families and learning to co-parent children.

The best gift you can give your children in divorce is the ability to co-parent well with your “EX” in a healthy manner.

An ideal co-parenting situation is having both parents cooperate with each other and focus on what is best for the children in the long run. The parents need to respect each other, set aside feelings of personal anger, resentment, hurt or loss and focus solely on the children in a loving manner.

9 Tips for successfully Co-parenting:

1. Kids First:

Make sure you are both committed to putting your children’s needs as the priority.

2. Stay Away From Triggers:

We know what buttons to push that create pain, anger, and weakness in our “EX,” try and stay away from triggering them, focus on the children only.

3. Children Are Not Weapons:

Never use your children as a weapon against the other parent. They should not feel they have to take sides or love one parent more than the other; allow them to love you both equally.

4. Support the Relationship With “Ex”:

Let your child feel safe developing a good relationship with your “EX.” Do not sabotage, criticize or encourage the child to be disrespectful to the other parent.

5. Never Discuss Divorce Details With Children:

Children should not be involved in any aspect of the agreements that relate to the divorce. You should never discuss deviations from the financial or scheduling arrangements; that is between adults only.

6. Happy Exchanging:

When the children are being transferred from one parent to the other, make it as easy and happy as you can. Be flexible when possible and always be polite and cordiale to each other. Your children are sensitive to the exchanges between you.

7. Good Communication:

Choose the communication that works best for both of you; email or text can be most effective because details are in writing. Try and keep all topics specific to your children’s needs.

8. Get Help:

If you are struggling to work together, go to a parenting improvement counselor, get a coach or take a parenting class. Find a way to learn to work together.

9. Let the Past Go:

Allow everything that happened in your relationship to be part of the past; start a brand new chapter moving forward. The past cannot be changed it is over. You are in control of “ your now” and “your future.” Choose to make it positive and healthy, and keep moving forward.

Happy healthy co-parenting will make both you and your “Ex’s” life easier but more importantly it will help your children grow up in a much more nurturing loving environment.