ASK NEALE: My House, My Rules
Excerpt from US News & World Report
The best time to think about co-parenting with your former partner or spouse is while you negotiate the parenting agreement – which will spell out your parenting time schedules and decision-making responsibilities – and related financial matters, like child support.
This is also the perfect time to make the attitude adjustments necessary to ensure the success of your co-parenting efforts. Both parents must carefully consider how they will communicate with one another and talk about each other with the kids.
Keep your feelings about the "other parent" out of your kids’ heads and hearts. It’s expected that both of you will continue to grapple with feelings of betrayal, anger or abandonment. But behaving in ways that show your kids your "true" feelings about the other parent will guarantee co-parenting failure.
Co-parenting requires maturity and dignity. Your ex isn't interested in listening to a rehash about your feelings. Keep the focus on what's going on with your kids. Intense expressions of anger or rage are not an appropriate part of co-parenting.
Of course, your feelings deserve respect and attention. Find appropriate outlets to express these feelings. Venting online in ways easily accessed by your kids only adds to their post-breakup burdens. Brief issue-focused therapy or a local support group may be better options.