Second Hand Toxicity: Keep the Kids Out of the Drama
With co-parenting, it can often be difficult to separate your emotions about your ex from your relationship with your child. That being said, it is vital for a successful co-parenting arrangement, and for your child’s well being, to ensure that you avoid putting down the other parent or venting your frustrations to them. In the end, your child deserves the love of both of their parents, and they should not be brought in to arguments or disagreements that arise between the adults involved in the situation. Children going through the difficulties that inevitably come along with being shared between multiple families definitely don’t need any additional drama. If you are truly trying to have a successful co-parenting relationship, the children should never have to feel that they have to chose or hold back when it comes to their parents. The last thing children need is to feel uncomfortable or on edge when sharing what they did during their time with the other parent. It is extremely healthy for them to be able to share the time they have outside of your household, and that way not only do they feel safe doing so, but you also feel more included in all aspects of their life.
Obviously, since you both want to be involved in the child’s life, you want to put them first. However, that can easily be forgotten in the heat of the moment and that’s why it is so important to keep their best interests at the forefront of your mind regardless of how high emotions are running. When you are frustrated or even infuriated, it is essential to refrain from any sort of name-calling, or negative talk about the other parent when talking to your child, or when they are around. I’m not saying that is easy, it can be close to impossible at times, but you can do it. Because in the end all that the negative talk does is develop even more animosity, not only between the parents, but also for the child toward the adults.
This is where some tips and tricks for dealing with that frustration in a healthy way can come in handy. So, maybe you and your ex just had a horrible fight and you need to talk… Pick up the phone and call a trusted friend or family member… Make an appointment to see a counselor (this is always a great idea when you are going through co-parenting situations regardless). Some other great stress relievers are getting exercise, meditating, going outside, or maybe picking up an old hobby that you haven’t done in years. That way, you are still taking care of yourself, which makes you healthier and happier and therefore more fun and loving for your child as well. It is vital that you remember that through all of this, you have to look after your child, yourself, and make the best of the co-parenting situation. It’s a lot to handle, and it’s not an easy task, but with the right tools, attitude, and help it is absolutely possible.