Setting boundaries is central to ex-couples raising a child after divorce. Boundaries are the lines they draw when interacting with each other after the split. These are thresholds for what kind of behavior they are willing to accept or not.
Researchers reveal that boundaries can be extreme opposites – rigid or too distant and porous or overly involved. However, the balanced mix, known as healthy boundaries, can help co-parents learn how to protect their values by saying “no” while respecting each other’s thoughts and emotions.
Establishing healthy boundaries
Co-parenting is when parents commit to work with each other in bringing up their child. This process entails developing an Illinois parenting plan that outlines how each party will spend their parenting time and fulfill their parenting responsibilities.
However, despite the shared goal of successful childrearing, every family’s path may look different. But the following tips offer a place to start:
- Stick to the plan: With a legal advocate’s guidance, creating a comprehensive parenting plan can reduce errors or misunderstandings. Doing so can save each other’s time, money and energy, which can be for doing things outside of the civil relationship.
- Stick to child-focused business: A professional environment must leave the personal or intimate details of each other’s separate lives out of the discussion. Treating one another like colleagues with a common purpose, which is the child’s best interests, can modify perspectives and define clear expectations.
- Stick to positive communication: Remove the child from the middle and reassure them that they won’t ever have to choose between their parents. Parents must support each other’s relationship with the child and never badmouth the other in front of the child. Since arguing occasionally is inevitable, parents must do it privately when the child is not around.
These boundaries can assist the child in coping with the new family dynamics. It can show them that their parents are willing to set their differences aside to provide them with a safe and loving environment.
Focusing on the importance of boundaries
Continuously seeing and communicating with each other after the divorce is typically the last thing ex-spouses want. Being in each other’s presence often triggers painful memories. While the idea makes them uncomfortable, it is necessary to carry out healthy boundaries to stabilize the child’s environment. While limited and significantly different from before, it can ease the child’s fears and worries by knowing that their parents are willing to work together for their sake.