Come on…be honest. Did anyone else roll their eyes a little when reading that title?
You wouldn’t be alone if you did. Even, I (Cheyanne), a TOTAL optimist, was a little skeptical when I began this post. It’s not that we don’t believe in healthy co-parenting. It’s more so that we, as coaches, have heard hundreds of heart-breaking stories of challenges in co-parenting, and even experienced many of these challenges in co-parenting ourselves.
We KNOW how hard it is. We understand, that even with the best intentions, many desires to have a healthy co-parenting relationship faulter.
However, I’d like you to take a moment and pretend you know nothing on this matter. I’d encourage you to imagine that you are freshly divorced or broken-up with your ex-partner and you are just beginning you co-parenting relationship.
Take yourself back there:
-What did you hope for your co-parenting relationship?
-How did you envision it looking like?
Now, with that ideal situation in mind, I’d like to share with you 3 VERY USEFUL tips from our friend and co-parenting expert, Fiona Kong, author of Home Sweet Homes Journal.
WARNING: These tips, when applied, have the potential to drastically improve not only your co-parenting relationship, but perhaps more importantly, yourself.
Tip #1 – If you want to change your co-parenting relationship, first start with yourself.
What? Not what you were expecting? We know we’re starting off a little controversal, but when this tip is fully embraced it is extremely freeing. After all, the only person you can ever control and change in life is yourself. Instead of focusing on all the ways you wish your co-parent would change, turn your attention to ways in which you can change.
Look at yourself and ask:
-What am I bringing to this relationship?
-In what ways, can I bridge the gap between us?
-If I am defensive, why is that?
-Don’t go on autopilot here – dig deep and dare to discover your own blocks.
*If you’re a step mom, and like some extra help with developing a positive & optimistic mindset, grab our FREE guide here:
Tip #2 – Show genuine care for your co-parent
Actions speak louder than words. Empathy, gratitude – it can be VERY hard to do this – but it shows to your child how to act too. Don’t be afraid to say something good. If there’s an oppportunity to turn something around, try it. Ask how you can help your co-parent.
Side note: If you have a high conflict- ex, or a co-parenting relationship that struggles with bounadries, tread carefully here. You can speak kindly, without being used or abused by your co-parent. Speaking kindly and positively costs us nothing.
Tip #3 – If your style of communication isn’t working, change it.
This one is to the point & simple. If how you both are communicating is continually bringing about a negative result, don’t be afraid to do something different. Is texting becoming too toxic and sconsuming? Try e-mail. Do you get too emotional seeing each other face-to-face? Try Facetime or a phone call. Don’t be afraid to change things up and be humble in making decisions that will be beneficial for yourselves and your child.
We hope these 3 tips are beneifical for you and your family. If you’d like to go DEEPER into each of these tips with us and hear from Fiona’s own mouth, come watch our exclusive interview at the LINK BELOW.
We know this blended family life isn’t easy, but we also know that it doesn’t have to be how the movies portray it. We can’t do everything, but we can take a stand in how we chose to act and respond to challenging situations and circumstances.
We’re in your corner. Always.
-Kim & Cheyanne