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Do you find yourself competing with your co-parent?

Despite the fact that part of you still holds resentment, hurt and anger against your former spouse, you made the conscious decision to set aside those feelings in order to continue raising your children together as co-parents. You wanted, and still want, to make sure that your children thrive in spite of the divorce.

Even so, you may feel as though your best intentions are falling short. You may find yourself competing with your co-parent and can't seem to stop. Perhaps it would help to find a way to change your mindset in order to move past those inclinations and get back on track to providing your children the best version of you as a parent.

Common negative mindsets and how to turn them around

First, you need to know that you aren't alone. Co-parenting after a breakup isn't as easy as the tabloids and media make it seem. Everyone falters. The trick is to work to change those things about yourself that you know may be keeping you from being the best parent you can be. Some of the most common negative mindsets and how to combat them are below:

  • Instead of feeling as though you are parenting alone, remember that the other parent is ready and willing to be an active part in your children's lives. You may no longer be in a marriage, but you are still a parenting team.
  • Instead of feeling as though you are the better parent, acknowledge that your children need both of you. You may not see eye-to-eye on everything, but as long as your children are happy, safe and feel loved, all may be well.
  • Instead of maintaining a belief that you have your time and the other parent has his or her time and that's it, consider being more flexible. For example, if you know that the other parent has a family event coming up that the children may want to attend, it's okay to give up "your time" in exchange for another time.

Parenting is never easy, and when you let your thoughts get in the way, it only makes things more difficult for everyone. If you had to stop and be logical about it, you would more than likely have no trouble realizing that your children love their other parent, and he or she loves them. You and the other parent divorced -- the children didn't divorce anyone. Working together instead of against each other could result in happier children and happier parents as well.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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