Successful parenting with an ex-spouse who has full custody of the kids CAN happen. Good communication is required, and research has shown that children whose parents work hard to effectively communicate with each other fair much better after a divorce. One thing that you both can do to improve communication between you and the ex is to schedule time to meet regularly and discuss raising your children.
Try to view your relationship with the ex as a business relationship. In a lot of ways, that’s just what it is. You both love your children, and you both want to raise your children the best way possible. You may not like each other anymore, and talking in a civil manner to each other can be a challenge, but the success of your business relationship can depend on this. Children adjust better when their parents get along.
As hard as it may seem, try to consistently meet weekly or every other week. This will send a strong message to your children that when it comes to them, you and your ex have a united front. Yes, this is not going to be easy in the beginning stages of the divorce, but it will be the best solution in the long run. If you stay focused on the goal at hand, the conversations will get easier for you both.
If things are tough, you don’t have to always meet in person. Talking on the phone and communicating on email are both good ways to talk. The goal here is to communicate with each other using whatever way you can that will be the most productive for you both.
Use the time you are both together to talk about specific topics. The school progress of your children, your schedules and any concerns you have regarding the behavior of the children should be the things you discuss. To make your conversations easier, make an agenda before you get together to meet. Have a standard form that identifies the things that you both need to discuss. When both parents make the effort before the meeting, the meetings will be much more productive. This will help the both of you focus on what really does matter.
The reason you want to meet together is to work together effectively raising your children. It’s not going to happen unless you are both committed to making a strong effort to communicate with each other. You have to put the past behind, and you must make a conscious decision to keep the focus on the children at all times. Leave the personal discussions out of these conversations. Don’t get into rehashing out the relationship you once had. Use this time to focus on what will be best for your children. You will find out that you can both be successful raising your children together, even though you live apart.