Co-parenting is one of the most stressful and emotionally filled aspects of divorce for Maryland couples with young children. While your initial focus may be on your kids, taking care of your emotions will help you survive the split. Recognize your range of emotions and make a plan to deal with them.
Steps to dealing with your emotions
The stress of negotiating a divorce settlement, determining a co-parenting agreement, living on a reduced budget and additional factors can give your mental health a shock. Fortunately, you have many resources at your disposal to help you cope. Try these simple steps to work through difficult periods:
- Feel your feelings
- Get support from other adults
- Develop a co-parenting communication strategy
- Separate your emotions from your child’s
- Forgive yourself
- Look beyond your co-parenting relationship
- Determine what you want now
- Remember you still have a family
Feeling your whole range of emotions is essential. Letting your children know that you are upset about the divorce is fine, but remember to keep your feelings and their emotions on different levels. Talk with other adults, whether a counselor, psychologist, trusted friend or a mixture of people. Even though you may be separated sometimes, remember you still have family relationships.
Developing a viable co-parenting agreement
One of the ways you can ease the stress of divorce is by getting an early start on your co-parenting agreement that spells out custody and visitation issues. Unless your spouse has done something to harm your children, you need to recognize that the kids have the right to have a relationship with their other parent.
You must try to be honest when communicating with your former spouse regarding your children. Learning skills that will diffuse conflict can help you avoid unnecessary drama and keep your emotions in check.