We recently began a discussion about various New Year’s resolutions that you may wish to consider if your co-parenting relationship is less than ideal. We mentioned that it may be helpful to think of your co-parenting relationship as a business partnership. We also noted that you may benefit from altering the primary methods of communication you use when interacting with your co-parent. Both of these potential resolutions may help to make your co-parenting relationship more productive and more palatable.
However, there is another kind of resolution related to co-parenting that you may wish to consider, depending on the ways in which your relationship is functioning right now. Both of the options we have discussed so far involve both you and your co-parent. But some of the best resolutions that co-parents can make are individual in nature.
For example, if you find that talking to your co-parent on the phone is incredibly stressful, consider taking these calls in a specific place in your home. Place a picture of you with your child in whatever spot you choose. Perhaps place a stress ball or a tennis ball in that spot so that you can have something to squeeze at moments of peak tension. Place whatever you need in this spot to remind you that these calls are just one small aspect of your life. Resolve to take a minute or two to just breathe after you have finished these calls. Taking these kinds of steps can help you to turn once stressful communications into thoughtful, intentional interactions.
Resolutions that are more individual in nature can help you to understand that your co-parenting relationship is not your entire identity. It can be understandably easy to get swept up in the stress of your co-parenting relationship. Individual resolutions aimed at taking the stress out of your reactions to your co-parent can help you fight against that tide.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Top 10 Difficult New Year’s Resolutions for Divorced Parents,” Laurie Hollman, Dec. 24, 2015