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Co-parenting After Your Divorce

Co-parenting is encouraged when you're going through a Pasadena divorce, but this is a skill that isn't always easy to master. Even celebrity parents like Sheree Fletcher who is the former Mrs. Will Smith and the star of VH1's "Hollywood Exes" admit that successful co-parenting takes a lot of effort.

First, remember that your identity must now align with your child. Providing a safe and happy environment for your son or daughter is more important than expressing any hostility you feel towards your ex. Do not badmouth him, regardless of what he does. And, when introducing him in public, say "This is my son's father" instead of "This is my ex husband." The distinction is subtle, but it's important to realize that the parenting relationship you two share is now much more important than your failed marriage.

Second, remember that co-parenting is not supposed to be a competitive sport. If you know your ex is forgetful, drop him a quick email about your daughter's dance recital or your son's soccer game. Don't simply hope he won't show up so you can swoop in and "win" extra praise from your child. If your child's school isn't the best when it comes to informing divorced parents of a student's academic progress, make sure they know that all relevant info should be sent to both you and your ex. Yes, it takes a bigger person to be cooperative under stressful circumstances. However, even if your ex husband isn't a famous actor, experts agree that this is the best way to protect your children from the negative effects of divorce.

Finally, make sure that you have a friend to talk to about your feelings. Divorce brings up a lot of unpleasant emotions and it's perfectly natural to need a space to vent. But, even if your child is a teenager, you need to refrain from putting him or her in the middle of an uncomfortable situation. Find an adult friend to talk to, even if it means joining a support group for other parents experiencing divorce in Pasadena.

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