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Co parenting post separation? Any tips?(12 Posts)
Young DC. We seem to manage being friendly quite easily now we're separated.
Those who manage friendly cooperative co-parenting, how do you manage difference of opinions. Eg, we aren't in agreement whether our eldest is old enough for a games console. (Haven't argued though! progress!)
Do we still need to agree these things?!
And while I'm asking questions, do you still do things as a family or do you think this is confusing for DC? Thinking occasions like bdays, Christmas.
I realise this is all quite individual and it's all new. Of course in a couple of years these questions could become irrelevant.
For me it's a mixture of things. We do birthday parties together for DC and friends but will also do separate meals - him with his family (I have no family here). Christmas all depends what's going on. I have DC every Christmas morning. ExH is invited to open presents but often doesn't come and instead will pick DC up later in the day.
There are things that happen in ExH house that I don't agree with but it's his house and I respect that. I'm sure there is also stuff I do that he doesn't like but it's also my house. DC manages okay with different rules etc.
We occasionally do stuff together. Sometimes it's the three of us and sometimes my DP comes along too.
The only thing I really try to do is not speak badly about ExH whilst DC is around, no matter now irritated I am.
Games console in one house and not the other. You can't start dictating what goes on in the other parents house if you want the friendly and amicable thing to last.
Sounds very sensible stuckinny & how ideally it shout be.
I think your last point is the most important
I have found that sweating the small stuff really isn't worth it, but it did take me a couple of years post divorce to let this go. as the PP has said, its normal to have slightly different rules for each house. Of course, the more united you are on the big and small stuff the easier it is.
My divorce was reasonably amicable so we still do stuff as a 'family'. Stuff like birthdays etc and xmas time is more flexible. We even do a weekend away together once a year and the odd day trip in the summer hols. My DC are teenagers though so i think there is less scope for confusion. I have also remarried as well.
Just be aware that whatever you work out now will change when dc start school (unless you both live close by and are able to do pick ups). My friend who works for CAFCASS is always having to deal with parents who had been getting along fine with pre-schoolers but it all gets acrimonious once they have to be in one place 5 days a week.
We do birthday meals out together and both attend birthday parties meant for friends but have separate tea parties with each family. I would be amenable to Christmas together but our living situations don't make that possible. We sometimes go out to a café together, during handover.
It's very definitely a different set of rules for each household as regards screen time, extracurricular activities, suitable toys etc.
Absolutely try to agree on homework, parents' evenings, and anything else school related. It doesn't always work out as despite both being teachers we have very different views, but we do make an effort.
Second the point about I never criticise ex when dd is about, even if it looks like she's not listening, and discourage other people from slagging him off when she's about.
Always be pleasant to new partners, and insist on a decent establishment
Sorry, that sent before I was ready!
Meant to say: insist on new partners not being introduced to dc too quickly.
Naze it's a lot easier said than done. I'm surprised I have any tongue left after all the biting I've had to do. Sad thing is I have a fairly good idea about the stuff he's said to DC about me (despite this being one of the terms in the divorce). I think he forgets that we were friends whilst he was getting divorced the first time and I remember what he used to say to his daughter.
I'd like to have Christmas here as this is the new house and I'd like it to start feeling homely. I've told stbxh that he can be here for as much of it as he likes, which he is happy with. Seems like DC need us both this year but I felt like our youngest, 2, gets sad after we've hung out a bit together so a bit undecided. I guess it is sad for now.
Interesting re pragmatic approach on differences. This Xmas is maybe too soon to rock the boat but I might get a games console on DC1s next birthday.
It's encouraging that people make it work.
I can't imagine either of us criticising the other. Sometimes DC1 will tell me dad lets us do x and I'll say different people have different rules. ive been trotting that one out re grandparents for some years!
Fink our eldest is at school. I think the challenge for us will be that I am a SAHM so things are easy, eg, some days I collect DC1, feed both tea and then hand them over. It'll need to work differently when I'm working.
Things like games consoles are separate decisions. You can have one in one house and not in the other and it's best to respect each other's decisions on that. There's just a few things where you need a joint decision, or to accept that it's up to the primary carer - school choice, age for things like ear piercing, pocket money, and to some extent personal freedom - eg can they go to the park alone, etc.
The best thing me and my ex ever did was to set up monthly meetings when we get together to sort out diaries and also chat through any other parenting issues. It's a bit less than monthly now tbh, but still really useful. We discuss school issues, techniques for sorting out any problems with them, any medical issues, etc. It's almost like a business meeting with an agenda, but actually that works.
We did do things a bit as a "family" for the first year or two. I don't think it did the kids any harm and may have a softened the change for all of us but after a while it didn't feel necessary and we more wanted the autonomy to get on with our own households. Ex was crap at helping at parties anyway, not his thing.
Split when DC were 4 and baby, now 16 and 13 and we're still amicable which doesn't feel difficult at all.
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