Co-parenting is a never-ending job. While your list of responsibilities to your children may technically decrease after the age of 18, you are never done being a parent. Maintaining this parental relationship, while working in tandem with your ex can be a tricky line to walk. There is an abundance of room for miscommunication, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings.
Shaunna Lee is an author, life coach, and the self-proclaimed Start Again Queen. After going through three divorces, and raising four children, she is the expert when it comes to co-parenting while also focusing on achieving your life’s work. In this episode of Divorce & Other Things You Can Handle, we discuss how to get along with your ex while co-parenting, and why it is beneficial to your relationship with your children.
Ultimately a healthy co-parenting relationship will mean healthy and happy children. Your focus needs to be on seeing the current situation or altercation from the children’s perspective. Using that empathy, you can make better decisions about how to best co-parent. Disagreements don’t mean you aren’t doing a good job, but the key is how you go about handling them. Focus on what you can control, keeping in mind that your goals are ultimately the same as your ex’s in wanting the best for your kids, however you may have different opinions on how to achieve that goal. Keep in mind that your children may not recognize the work you’re putting in at this moment, but over the years it will pay off exponentially.
Problems are inevitable, it does not mean you aren’t parenting well. When an issue arises, taking time away from the issue to gather and articulate your thoughts and concerns can be extremely helpful. Respect the other parent’s rules and parenting style, but also empower your children to speak their mind if they have a problem. Be mindful of what concerns you share with your ex, as many of them may not require discussion. It’s helpful to create a united front with your ex, so that your children know you are on the same page.
There can be great shame or guilt associated with getting a divorce. Shaunna’s book focuses on dispelling that shame and the other negative emotions that come with divorce. While there can be heavy negative emotions pertaining to divorce, there is also a window of opportunity as well. Using this time to “start again” and reinvigorate your passions and interests that may have been put on the back burner during your marriage.
It’s important to understand that you can get along as co-parents without being friends. The key part of this relationship is the shared interest in wanting the best for your children. Being upfront with new partners about the co-parenting relationship you have with your ex is helpful for alleviating any concerns they may have.
Shaunna’s signature 45 minute online course that works to align your body, soul, and mind in order to find your center. You can find a link to the course here.
Shaunna is a best-selling author with a wealth of experience leading women through their own start-again moments. She offers one-on-one coaching and self-paced online courses. She is also an author, and host of two podcasts. Her work centers around body/mind/soul alignment, falling in love, and learning to monetize your gifts.
Shaunna’s Podcast: Start Again With Shaunna Lee
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