How Can I Parent A Child If I Am Unable To Get Along With My Ex-partner
How Can I Parent A Child If I Am Unable To Get Along With My Ex-Partner? Breaking up with a partner is especially challenging if you have children. It can undermine your child’s confidence and it might take away their source of comfort because in your child’s eyes you and your partner are still a family and refusing to maintain positive communication might have a detrimental effect on their mental health.
Effective parenting is harder after you separate therefore it is important to have a plan that helps assist the progress of transition and aims to rebuild stability.
The answer is co-parenting which is the type of parenting that assumes parents’ equal responsibility and prioritises the child’s wellbeing, in other words it means putting your child first.
While it might sound like it is the same dynamic you shared when you were together, co-parenting requires cooperation not romantic intimacy.
Co-parenting is important because it allows your child to be close to both parents and have emotional needs met as a result.
Children with parents who exhibit poor parenting skills and frequently argue are more likely to have mental health problems and therefore might display bad behaviour.
Here are some tips that will help you implement this parenting style:
Consider your happiness first
Before you can take care of someone else, you must take care of yourself because breakups can be traumatic. You might struggle with your own mental health and as much as you want to put your child first, you might find it difficult to set your negative feelings aside.
That is why you should remember to work through your emotions and let yourself grieve first. You do not have to remain in a close relationship with your ex and pretend that everything is fine.
While keeping in touch with your partner to discuss your child is necessary, make it minimal and take time to heal.
Focus on the love you have for your child
Depending on what the reason for separation is, it is difficult not to feel resentful. You might feel like your partner is unable to know what is best for your child or does not care enough.
It is normal you would prefer if they did not have access to your child but you must remember that your child still views you as a family. They might not be aware of the reasons the relationship ended so acting hostile towards your ex will have the opposite effect and make the child feel uncomfortable around you.
At the end of the day, you want your child to be loved and free of mental health difficulties. Your partner might have hurt you but for the sake of your child’s wellbeing, they should actively participate in their life.
Learn to communicate effectively
Whenever you need to communicate with your partner, try to push the emotions aside and focus on the outcome you want to achieve which is essentially that which is best for your child.
Make sure you do not subject your child to arguments and discussions. If there is an important issue you want to discuss, ask your partner to meet you in a neutral location, away from your child.
If disagreements arise at home, make sure to respond with respect. Remember, your child learns social skills from you and might subconsciously mirror harmful communication styles in the future.
Additionally, make sure you do not react negatively when your child talks about your ex and be mindful of what you say in front of them.
Set Out Boundaries
Sit down with your ex-partner and talk about boundaries. For example, you might want to know in advance if they are planning to take your child for a holiday.
Plan for the upcoming weeks and try to establish a routine. Make sure you are on the same page regarding issues such as bedtime, chores, playtime and so on; children need consistency and reaching an agreement in advance will prevent unnecessary disagreements. You could also schedule monthly meetings to express any concerns you might have and discuss your child’s difficulties.
But at the same time, leave room for flexibility. While sticking to the rules will give your child a sense of security, parental involvement in their lives should come first. Your ex-partner most likely has other commitments and their way of dealing with the breakup and sometimes accidents happen.
Do not make things difficult for your ex if they are trying to make up for not spending time with your child when they were scheduled to. You might need your partner to offer the same understanding in the future.
Alternatively, consider finding a therapist that specializes in co-parenting. There are many dos and don’ts that are specific to your circumstances. Reaching out to a professional will make you feel secure and feel like you are doing everything you can to make the breakup easier for your child. Contact My Family Psychologist to discuss the options today.
How Can I Parent A Child If I Am Unable To Get Along With My Ex-Partner?