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For many divorced or separated couples, the idea of having a positive and successful co-parenting relationship with an ex-spouse is a fantasy only A-list celebrities seem to maintain. From old resentments to new conflicts regarding scheduling and finances, co-parenting is easier said than done.

If you’re struggling to adjust to your new type of partnership with your ex after divorce, you’re not alone. However, while it may take time to feel like you and your ex are on the same team, it’s beneficial for your children if you put in the work to get there. Negative co-parenting relationships are incredibly damaging to kids and can have long-term effects on their behavior and well-being.

Working peacefully with your ex is essential for both you and your kids to adapt and thrive in your next chapter. Here are a few ways you can make your job as a co-parent easier:

1. Focus on the kids

Perhaps the most crucial tip for co-parenting with an ex is keeping your kids as the sole focus. When all of your decision and discussions with your ex-spouse center around your children, it’s simpler to keep things positive since you are ultimately working toward the same goal.

2. Be on the same team

While it may not have been the case during your divorce proceedings, you and your ex must be on the same side as co-parents now for the sake of your kids. While conflicts in parenting are normal and bound to happen from time to time, giving your ex-spouse the benefit of the doubt that they want what’s best for your kids just as much as you can help make your interactions easier.

3. Set your ego aside

It can be tempting to think of co-parenting as a competition with ideas such as who is the better parent or your kids’ favorite parent after your divorce. However, this kind of thinking is only harmful to your kids and your co-parenting relationship. Don’t try to win your kids over or punish your ex if they ask for a favor. Remember, you are both in this together.

Co-parents have a unique arrangement that can often be challenging to navigate. By establishing healthy parenting habits early, you can set your kids up for a happy, successful future.