Sara Bensman is a family mediator and conflict resolution specialist who's inspired by healthy living, clean minds and a world free of stress. She also loves to travel the country visiting her...
Did you know over 50% of us are either re-married or re-coupled? Anyone who is transitioning through this, or are already grappling with the new world of coparenting, knows that over the holidays emotions run high and feelings can get low. This is especially true when children are involved. So how can we start the new year off on the right foot, both with our children and fellow co-parent? It may start with you. Here are 25 ideas that can even be implemented as your New Year’s resolutions. They may not be easy all the time, but they will help in the long run.
1. I will appreciate my co-parent’s contributions in my child’s life.
2. I will respect my co-parent’s time with my child and not block my child from spending time with the other parent, or interrupt their time with excessive phone calls.
3. I will respect my co-parent’s boundaries.
4. I will refrain from saying anything unkind about my co-parent or my co-parent’s loved ones in my child’s presence.
5. I will not schedule activities for our child during my co-parent’s time.
6. I will share positive stories and statements about my co-parent to my child.
7. I will refrain from asking my child personal questions about life at the other parent’s home as this may feel like I am mining for information.
8. I will not discuss child support, financial matters, or matters relating to my divorce with my child.
9. I will treat my child like a child and not share inappropriate information.
10. I will celebrate my child’s accomplishments, activities and gifts at my co-parent’s home.
11. I will not argue with my co-parent in front of my child.
12. I will not roll my eyes, cross my arms, or groan when my co-parent’s name is mentioned.
13. I will share important information about our child with my co-parent.
14. I will listen to my co-parent’s perspective about how to best care for our child and attempt to make decisions together.
15. I will get help from a neutral third party if we can’t make decisions together rather than threatening to sue my co-parent or call child protective services.
16. I will treat my co-parent as I would treat a business partner.
17. I will communicate directly with my co-parent rather than asking our child to convey messages.
18. I will greet my co-parent kindly when we meet in public.
19. I will sit near my co-parent at events for our child so our child doesn’t have to choose sides.
20. I will make it as comfortable as possible for my child to have two homes, including allowing my child to take possessions from one home to another and helping retrieve items that were left behind.
21. I will be flexible in meeting the scheduling needs of my co-parent so that our child can enjoy as many good times in both homes as possible.
22. I will encourage my child to have strong, loving relationships with my co-parent and my co-parent’s family.
23. I will not try to be the favored parent but will trust that our child will be strengthened by multiple loving relationships.
24. I will let my child know I love him/her without making my child feel the need to take care of me.
25. And maybe the most important one - I will take care of myself and make myself strong so that I show my child how we can grow from change.