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Parents

17 Ways To Co-Parent Without The Crazy

From someone who's been there, done that, and got the t-shirt to prove it.

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1. Acknowledge the weirdness.

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So, you had a baby and now you and your co-creator have lost that loving feeling. It's going to be weird but if you keep the kid as the focus of your "relationship" it will make the transition a little easier. Maybe.

2. No name calling.

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Okay, so they pissed you off, or did something stupid and you have some choice names to call them. Do that, but never in front of the kids. That's only going to come back and bite you in the ass.

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3. Don't be a hater.

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Ex's new woman has heinous eyebrows, bad hairdo? Giggle away in private but don't say anything in front of the kids. They WILL repeat it and embarrass the shit out of you.

4. Go to Counseling. Immediately.

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Seriously. If you can afford it find someone to mediate your early conversations. It helps sets the tone and establishes a good vibe for all future communications.

6. Schedule sticky conversations.

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When it comes to parenting finding a "right" time to have difficult conversations can be hard, but when you don't share a household that can be even harder. Make it a point to set aside time to discuss serious concerns (potty training, bed wetting, food issues) so everyone is ready and prepared for whatever emotions may come up.

7. Tackling the dating game.

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Not being with the one you created a person with can get....uncomfortable at best if one of you begins to date other people. Talk about that ahead of time and how to handle introducing significant others to the kids and when.

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8. Holidazed, but not confused.

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Holidays are stressful enough without mixing in going back and forth between houses. Work out who gets what day ahead of time so there's no Christmas Eve showdown about who will wake up with the child on Christmas Day.

10. Share calendars.

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As tedious as it may be, keeping up on each other's daily lives helps both parents and children feel connected and avoids mixing up plans and events. No one can be mad about missing great grandma's birthday if it's not on the joint calendar.

11. Answer kid's questions.

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At some point your kids may have questions: Why did you break up? Did you ever love each other? Answer them honestly and age appropriately while not placing blame on one parent or the other. This can be hard if it ended badly but if you want to co-parent, you better get your game face on.

12. Remember the love.

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At SOME point you were feeling this person (even if it was after a night of drinking) and together y'all made another person. So, when you want to throttle them for their lack of understanding, just remember you once loved them.

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13. Make YOUR time quality time.

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Go on dates. With your kid. Not each other. Gross! Make sure your kid knows they're a priority in your life. Take the time to get to know them and let them know you by engaging in a new activity or something you know they love.

14. Enjoy your free time.

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That may sound selfish but hey, lucky you, you get the occasional break from the daily parenting struggle when they are away so take advantage! Get that nap in, go out with friends, hell, just sit around doing nothing. Making time for yourself is still just as important.

15. Be consistent.

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Kids are like animals and can sniff out fear and guilt like bloodhounds. By keeping the rules consistent at both homes it makes it harder for them to manipulate you both and keeps everyone grounded.

16. Phone a friend.

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So, you tried all of this and you still can't get along? Pick up the phone and get your vent on. Airing your irritations with a third party who is supportive but also not as invested is beneficial to all and saves you the drama of airing your frustrations in front of your kid.

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