Some families feel that even after a divorce, separation, or breakup, co-parenting (even though the parents are no longer a couple) is extremely important. One way to do this is through “co-parenting dates” where the parents both spend time with the children as a family.
Of course, these “dates” can be awkward and emotional. To allow the children to enjoy their family time, be cordial and polite to your ex, but try to focus on the children themselves. Pick a fun activity that you all can do together and keep your mind on that activity. There is no reason why a visit has to be at a restaurant or over a meal, where you may feel that you struggle to come up with conversation.
Some ideas for co-parenting “dates”
- A child’s sports game or other extracurricular activity: you are both present and supporting your child, but you don’t have to interact much with each other.
- The movies: you can spend time together as a family with minimal interaction.
- The zoo: focus on the animals and your child(ren)’s reaction to them. This can be educational and fun for everyone.
Remember, if you have decided to co-parent, you have decided that it is important that your children spend quality time with both of you. Focus on the benefits that your child is receiving from this time, and give them all of your attention. It’s about them, not about yourself or your ex.