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3 tips for co-parenting and creating a new normal

Highly charged, emotional events such as separation and divorce bring out the worst in people. As you muddle through the details of dividing assets and property, you must also work out arrangements to divide your time with the children.

Coming to grips with time sharing and co-parenting may turn out to take an emotional toll even on the steadiest person. Can two people who do not see eye-to-eye cooperate when it comes to parenting children? Try these suggestions to help make co-parenting less stressful.

Set realistic expectations

If your divorce settlement is still pretty raw, there is a good chance exchanges with your ex may still elicit strong emotions. As you fall into a new normal, remind yourself to set realistic expectations. You and your ex will probably not suddenly start agreeing on everything; however, you will agree on something. Take the good with the bad, and do your best to focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.

Start a new hobby

It may feel strange to not have your children with you every day. In fact, the loneliness and emptiness may feed negative emotions. Fill the time with friends, family and above all else, positivity. Try something new. Take photography classes or join a running club. You may find you start looking forward to your downtime too.

Make new memories

One of the most difficult issues to overcome is the memories of a complete family unit. Now is the time you should start creating new memories in your current situation and make it fun for your children. Dwelling on the past tends to keep you stuck. Instead of trying to keep up old traditions that elicit painful memories or that you can no longer afford, create new ones. You and your children will benefit in the short and long run.

Co-parenting is usually not an easy road, especially in the immediate future after a divorce. While it can turn out well, a large part of that success is your mindset moving forward. Allow yourself some latitude and learn to enjoy the new and unknown rather than dwelling on the old and familiar.

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Reese-Beisbier & Associates, P.C.
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