It’s no secret that it’s sometimes difficult to co-parent and allow your kids’ other parent to be very present in their life; without sacrificing your own freedom, dating life, independency, or more.
With co-parenting comes a lot of responsibility and a necessity to give more space and time to someone you were supposed to leave in the past. This is why it can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating to do what’s right for your kids and still look after yourself; if you don’t have solid boundaries with your ex or the other parent of your kids.
For this reason, in today’s article, we will be listing a few boundaries that you need to discuss with your ex for a better life and peace of mind while the two of you co-parent.
Boundaries to set when co-parenting with an ex:
1. Have a schedule:
Knowing what you expect when it comes to raising your children brings a lot of relief to parents. However, when you and your child’s other parent no longer live together there is more room for unwanted surprises and unexpected problems.To limit unwanted or unplanned inconveniences, it is a good idea to create a schedule around your children where both of you can divide tasks.
Maybe you already have assigned days to spend with your child or children, but that’s not enough. As they grow up, children are involved in more activities, spend time with more friends, and their studies or revision time increases.
So to make sure that both of you are on top of everything, you should share a schedule where you put everything regarding your child. This could include what your child or children’s needs are, their playtime, stidy time and who is going to share that time with them.
2. Create a habit to call one another first to share your kids’ milestones or in the case of an emergency:
When you are living with your child’s other parent it’s easy to communicate every time you have something new to tell them. But when you don’t share the same roof anymore, you are going to miss some important moments of your child’s life and you won’t immediately be there to support your child in case of an emergency.
Nevertheless, you are both the parents of that child and you have the priority when it comes to being updated about your child’s life and wellbeing. When you are a single parent, and you need an extra pair of hands to help you in matters related to your child, it’s very easy to ask close friends or family members. This could simply be the case if you’re not comfortable being around your ex or if you have eprsonal problems that cannot be ignored.
However, this is not in your child’s best interest. So make a rule surrounding how each parent should call and prioritize the other regarding any improtant matter relating to your children or child. You can promise one another to never mention or bring up your personal problems in similar instances. If one or both of you do this, you will be able to be present for your kids’ important life events and help them grow into balanced and fulfilled individuals despite being separated.
3. Have the same set of values and rules for the kids:
Even though you don’t live together, and your child is essentially growing up in two different houses, you have to raise your child the same way. They need an upbringing that is solid with the same values being conveyed and similar educational methods applied. There’s no way around it and you have to agree with your child’s other parent on how you are going to raise them.
It’s alright to have different approaches of how to do the same thing since you are different people and have different personalities. But, there can’t be contradictions between what each one of you teaches the child.
To do this properly, you first need to remember that what is important is your child’s wellbeing and having them grow into a polite and well-behaved adult and not your pride. Then only, you could do a recap of the week with your child’s other parent to know exactly what they have been taught.
4. Try to be involved in the important moments together:
Perhaps you and your child’s other parent separated because you couldn’t get along or you have different ways to see the world that aren’t compatible. If that’s the case, this still shouldn’t stop the child you have in common from having a sense of stability and knowing what belonging to a family means.
The thing that makes your child feel loved and like they belong is having happy memories to look back on when they are grown up. That is why you will have to put your differences aside and be there for your child in the important moments of their life. For example, you should both be present on birthdays, no matter what! This way, the child doesn’t feel nervous about having to share their time with one parent without the other.
You should also both be present at school events and other great achievements. Essentially, your child will grow up knowing that, just because your relationship with their other parent is over, doesn’t mean that both parents don’t love him or her intensely. They will know that it’s possible to have a united family even if your parents are separated.
5. Your child should never be involved in your personal arguments:
Arguing with your ex-partner is normal, but you need to be mindful not to be making your child feel stressed and insecure or develop a preference for one parent over the other. If you are going to argue about something related to the way you are raising your child, make sure that your child is not around to hear it.
It could also be helpful to learn techniques to approach differences in a civilised way, instead of getting into conflict. You will have to co-parent until your child is an adult, which means you will have to take many decisions together and learn how to compromise every time you disagree on something to avoid arguments.
Everything will be easier if you learn to manage your issues amongst yourselves without turning your kdis against one another. Having a child believe that one of their parents is the villain or that they don’t have their best interest at heart can ruin an individual and affect their confidence and future negatively. So know that even if you have different points of view from your ex-partner, you have to learn to handle them properly away from the kids.