Co-parenting isn’t ever easy. You have to be able to put the differences between you and your ex aside so that you can focus on the children. The problem with this is that the horrors of your marriage and the tension that led to the end of it might still be present. This is a challenge that you will have to work hard to overcome.

There are a few ways that you can ease the stress of the co-parenting relationship so that you can work with your ex throughout your kids’ childhood. These do take work on the part of both adults, so they will be much easier if you and your ex can work as a parenting team.

First, you need to respect each other. Both parents are equally as important to the children. Just because your ex wasn’t a good spouse doesn’t mean they aren’t a good parent. Part of respecting each other is not badmouthing each other. Never call your ex’s parenting into question in front of the children. Be willing to stand up for your ex’s decisions, even if you don’t agree with them, as long as they aren’t harming the children. This can go a long way in showing that you are willing to compromise.

Second, communicate directly with your ex. Trying to relay messages through other parties is an almost sure way to create strife. Those messages might be unintentionally altered as they move from one person to another. Direct communication also gives you an opportunity to compromise with your ex on matters you aren’t currently in agreement about.

Third, always put your child’s needs first. The goal is for them to be able to grow up and thrive. Knowing that they have a stable support system can help them achieve the things they want during this period of their life. Having a set parenting plan might assist in this.