When I start to work with co-parents, one of the questions asked is, "What are you hoping to get out of this?" Generally speaking, at least one of the co-parents will answer and say, "I don't think I need this, but my ex does."
Have you ever found yourself looking for co-parenting resources to fix your ex? I know I have been one of those co-parents!
Here's the thing, that's not really co-parenting, and worse, you're part of the issue.
I know that's hard to hear, but it's true. When you're setting your intention to finding what's wrong with your ex, that's felt. When your intention is set to making things hard to on your ex because you're always pointing out what's wrong with it, that feeds the cycle of anger.
Now I want to be clear here. Your ex may absolutely be the worst parent on the planet, the hardest person to communicate with, the one who can't spell boundary let alone stay within it, but the way you handle that will either keep the cycle going or work to stop it.
When you're really co-parenting, you're living by the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Let's try an exercise and apply this now. How do you want your ex to treat you? Are you thinking that you want to be heard? Maybe you want him/her to understand that you're a good parent with good ideas. Perhaps, you just want your ex to understand that your children love spending time with you. Spend 30 seconds and come up with some answers.
Now, ask yourself this. How do you think your ex wants to be treated? My guess is that he wants all the same things you want.
Let's get even more real. When was the last time you treated your ex the way you want to be treated? Do you make him/her feel heard? Do you praise them when they do something well? Do you communicate with them the way you want to be communicated to?
My challenge for all of you is to set your intention to real, positive co-parenting. Apply the golden rule. When you find it hard, then find an outlet! Talk to a friend, blast some music and dance it out, meditate, go for a walk, journal, or any other way you can take your frustration out without showing it to your ex.
Comment below, let's get a conversation going. How do you set the intention to co-parent? Mindset matters. Where do you struggle and let's help each other out!
I talk about the angry cycle in the Co-Parenting After Divorce videos. Once you're on it, it's hard to get off, but it's possible. You can end the cycle. Click on the button below to learn more.