Co-parenting can be challenging in the best of times, but how about during the worst of times? I’ve always been proud of the post-divorce relationship I’ve built with my kids’ dad. It’s civil, it’s boundaried and it’s forever focused on our kid’s best interests. What I did not expect was how challenging co-parenting during the Coronavirus could become. Getting on the same page when it comes to social distancing, wearing masks, etc. has been hard work and has taken a lot of direct communication of our views and values.
Important Questions for You & Your Co-Parent
Public Health Guidelines
The Really Akward Stuff
Having a healthy co-parenting relationship usually works best when you have good boundaries. There are things you would not normally discuss with your ex that may need to be more out in the open during this time. By this I mean your private life – like who you are coming in contact with (dates, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. ) especially if they are in a high risk profession or have suffered a possible exposure. While the thought of such conversation might make you cringe, if they involve the safety of your child(ren) I highly encourage you to have them. You don’t need to give explicit details – just tell them when the possible exposure happened and your concerns about the risk.
Co-parenting During the Coronavirus – When you Don’t Agree
If you find yourself in the position of not agreeing about a certain rule or parenting arrangement during this time, you are not alone. During stressful, uncertain times, people’s ability to communicate effectively and unemotionally goes way down. Throw in feeling defensive about the safety or freedom of your children, and the stakes are even higher. Knowing this, see if you can give both yourself and your co-parenting partner a little more grace. Attacking or belittling your ex will not help, and if anything it may make them dig their heels in more. Try to see what middle ground you both can find and work from there. If your ex doesn’t agree that your kids should wear a mask in public places, explain what your concerns are and try to listen to their side with curiousity instead of defensiveness. You may ultimately not agree on the rule, but being heard, and listening are more important now than ever.
Need help communicating your feelings to your ex? Want a nuetral third party to help you talk to each other about these issues? Feel free to contact me.