Co-parenting can be a crazy adventure. It can be a frustrating experience or an enriching one on any given day. Because any co-parenting relationship can produce a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, it is generally helpful for co-parents to frequently remind themselves of what their values and priorities are. It can become much easier to focus on the task of advancing a child’s best interests if such reminders are frequent and easy to digest.
For example, it can be helpful to keep a picture of your child near the phone and near the computer. That way, if communication with your co-parent starts to get heated, you can focus on your child’s picture and remember the true goal of your communication. Is inflaming the tension between you and your co-parent serving the best interests of your child, whose endearing face is right in front of you? If not, that reminder can help you to calm down and re-focus the conversation.
Each co-parenting relationship is unique. As a result, the reminders that you may need will likely vary from the reminders that a friend in a co-parenting relationship may need. You may choose to wear a ring with your child’s birthstone on it to remind you to focus on him or her when frustrated with your co-parent. Or, you may choose to do five minutes of yoga or meditation before communicating with your co-parent in order to remain calm and intentioned during your communication.
Whatever your goals, priorities and values for your co-parenting relationship may be, consider placing reminders of them in plain sight. Frequent reminders of these values and goals can help you to remain intentioned in your co-parenting relationship and to reduce the stress associated with it.
: The Huffington Post, “5 Reminders for Divorced Moms and Dads,” Meerabelle Dey, April 5, 2015