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The Hood Magazine

How To Be Cordial with Your Ex

03/24/2016 10:15AM ● By Hood Magazine
By Megan Miller, M.A., Sioux Falls Psychological Services

You may now be finding your way into the world of co-parenting and what may feel like a world of “yours” and “mine.” The following are a few tips to keep in mind as you navigate this reality.

Consider the situation through your child’s eyes. Children who have the highest level of well-being have parents with low conflict. Refrain from speaking poorly about your ex in front of your children. By remaining neutral or omitting any negative thoughts, you provide an opportunity for your child to love both parents and take responsibility for your role in encouraging a healthy co-parenting relationship.

Acknowledge what you can’t control. Frustration can quickly build if you attempt to control your ex-spouse. What you can control is how you engage in your relationships. Choose to focus on positive ways you see the children coping with transition in your home. By sharing these techniques, you can offer consistency for your children and ease tension for all involved as your family navigates these changes.

Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own emotions and allow yourself to grieve the end of your marriage and acknowledge the good and bad things you are stepping away from with the divorce. As you slow down and understand your emotions, you are free to interact in ways that the past doesn’t have to be present with each exchange between you and your ex.

Special Occasions. At times in your journey as co-parents you will encounter occasions that have you celebrating your child together. Graduations, weddings and other special events are unique opportunities to build up your child and reassure him or her that even though you have chosen divorce, you and your ex can still unite to show your love and support for your child.


Overall, acknowledge that your family life may be different than you planned, but it does not have to keep you and your ex from communicating care and concern for your children. You don’t have to sort out all the past difficulties to appreciate the wonderful children you share. Allow yourself to redefine your family in a way that cultivates the best of you and your ex for your children.