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Tips for dealing with parenting conflicts with your ex

Every divorced parent is concerned about making mistakes. Don't worry -- you will, and so will your ex. However, it's how you deal with those mistakes, both the ones you make and particularly the ones that your ex makes, that can help you both build a better co-parenting relationship for the sake of your kids.

There are things that you can do to avoid problems and, even more importantly, avoid putting your kids in the middle of your parental conflicts.

Set some ground rules with your ex. This can include behavior that you expect from your ex and that he or she should expect from you, such as not speaking ill of the other in front of the kids. They can also include things like notifying each other if you have to be late for a pick-up or drop-off.If something is bothering you or if you and your ex are in conflict, don't express your anger or frustration in front of the kids or argue with their other parent in front of them. If you see yourselves moving toward an argument, agree to deal with the problem at a later time when you're both calmer (and certainly when the kids aren't around).Don't be afraid to apologize. That can go a long way in any relationship, but certainly in an often-fragile co-parenting relationship that exes are trying to build. Apologizing to someone who may have done far worse things to you over the years can be difficult, but don't be afraid to own up to whatever you did in this particular situation. You may find that your ex is more willing to apologize for his or her actions in the future.

Your patience and ability to deal with your ex will be tested multiple times over the years. When you feel the need to complain, lash out or hold out for what you want, remember that your kids should be your focus. Watching their parents work together and treat each other kindly, despite their differences can provide valuable life lessons that they can take out into the world as adults. If you feel that you could benefit from some co-parenting or individual therapy to achieve this relationship, your Maryland family law attorney can likely provide you with some resources.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Common Post Divorce Parenting Mistakes," Hanif Virani, Feb. 19, 2016

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