Before contact with your ex, ask yourself how your talk will affect your child, and resolve to conduct yourself with dignity.
You may never completely lose all of your resentment or bitterness about your break up, but what you can do is compartmentalize those feelings and remind yourself that they are your issues, not your child's.Remember that it isn’t always necessary to meet your ex in person—speaking over the phone or exchanging texts or emails is fine for the majority of conversations. Even if you end up disagreeing with the other parent, you should at least be able to convey to your ex that you’ve understood their point of view.The goal is to establish conflict-free communication, so see which type of contact works best for you. And listening does not signify approval, so you won’t lose anything by allowing your ex to voice his or her opinions. Keep in mind that communicating with one another is going to be necessary for the length of your children's entire childhood—if not longer.But co-parenting amicably with your ex can give your children the stability, security, and close relationships with both parents they need.For the sake of your kids’ well-being, it is possible for you to overcome co-parenting challenges and develop a cordial working relationship with your ex.Research suggests that the quality of the relationship between co-parents can also have a strong influence on the mental and emotional well-being of children, and the incidence of anxiety and depression.Of course, putting aside relationship issues, especially after an acrimonious split, to co-parent agreeably can be easier said than done.Resolve to keep your issues with your ex away from your children. When you use your children to convey messages to your co-parent, it puts them in the center of your conflict.The goal is to keep your child out of your relationship issues, so call or email your ex directly. Never say negative things about your ex to your children, or make them feel like they have to choose.Aiming for consistency between your home and your ex’s avoids confusion for your children. Rules don’t have to be exactly the same between two households, but if you and your ex-spouse establish generally consistent guidelines, your kids won’t have to bounce back and forth between two radically different disciplinary environments.Important lifestyle rules like homework issues, curfews, and off-limit activities should be followed in both households. Try to follow similar systems of consequences for broken rules, even if the infraction didn’t happen under your roof. Where you can, aim for some consistency in your children’s schedules.