A divorce has a traumatic effect on any family. However, it is possible to get through the experience with less stress, which is better for everyone involved. Anxiety about dealing with your ex is a normal feeling for all parents when the marriage or relationship ends. But, for the sake of the children, it is critical to attempt to find a way to interact with your ex that does not cause your children, or yourself, undue anguish.
One of the most challenging issues during and after a divorce is how to effectively co-parent when the romantic relationship dissolves. It is highly likely that you may not even be able to be around your ex without experiencing a dramatic increase in blood pressure. This is a common problem among potential clients and those new to parenting from separated homes, and my firm understands deals with this issue on a regular basis. But still, there are ways to cope with the emotion and learn how to parent separately while keeping your sanity. We insure all our clients are shown this different way which leads to a better future for all once the legal issue has concluded.
Recently, many uplifting examples of co-parenting have been featured on news programs and social media posts of successful co-parents. As impossible as it may seem at the time when conflict occurs, it can be done. Below are three examples of co-parenting that illustrate parents putting aside their differences in order to focus on what matters most, the children. Of course, these examples may not work for everyone, but they at least show that is possible to work together for your children in a genuine and concerted way.
The first example is from Boston dad, Billy Flynn Gadbois who posted on the Love What Matters Facebook page about buying flowers and cooking breakfast for his ex so his children could surprise their mom on her birthday. He posted that he does this to set a good example for his children because it will affect "how they see and treat women and affect their perception of relationships." Even though Billy may have hurt feelings from the past towards his ex, he recognized that honoring the child's mother would set a good example for them despite his personal feelings.
The second example I find heartwarming - the story of exes Adam, Victoria, and their sweet son Bruce. Victoria and Adam admit they do not always get along and still hold old grudges; however things improved when Victoria scheduled a family photo shoot and invited Adam to join. He agreed and now they schedule a family photo session with their son every year. They realize that co-parenting means the focus should be on the child and not on each other.
Finally, families from York and Lancaster came together for their daughter in the happiest place on earth - DisneyWorld. Admitting that they have not always been on friendly terms, the parents and step-parents of young Madeline Hawkey, realized that they had a common goal - to make sure their daughter was happy. After that realization, the two parents and step-parents made more effort to come together for her and to communicate better with each other. Their efforts culminated in a meet-up in DisneyWorld with Madeline at the center of the action.
Although you may currently be in a place, in your relationship with your ex, that these examples seem like pure, fairy tale, fiction, they represent the idea that a good faith effort can go a long way in furthering the happiness of the child. If you are exploring how to approach sensitive issues here are some great guidelines.