#1. Know What You Really Want
What do you REALLY want? You want your children to have happy, meaningful lives and you want to have good, strong, connected relationships with them. Are you consciously working toward these goals? It is easy to get swept away by the drama and details of daily life and waste your energy on things that don’t contribute to creating what you deeply desire.
Parents in difficult divorce situations often unintentionally take action that actually works against these goals. Co-parenting challenges can trigger you into emotionally reactive states. In these states, you lose access to the rational parts of your brain. Instead of making wise decisions, you simply react. These automatic reactions almost always take you in a direction you don’t really want to go.
For example, your child tells you that your co-parent said something negative about you. You get triggered and respond by defending yourself and getting angry with your ex. By defending, and getting angry, you are unintentionally putting your child in the middle. This does not help your relationship with your child and it does not contribute to your child’s wellbeing. It confuses them and makes them more anxious and insecure.
Learning to assess whether your actions are working toward your goals, and learning to get yourself out of emotionally reactive states are essential parts are necessary elements of working toward your goals.