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Co-parenting resolutions for the new year

When making your resolutions this year, why not focus on your children? If you're divorced and you're co-parenting with your ex, these resolutions can help:

1. Always put the children first.

Your needs should never be first, and neither should your ex's. Regardless of your conflicts with one another, you need to put your kids first. If you both do this, it gives the children the best possible living situation, and it may even reduce the number of fights the two of you have.

2. Show respect for your ex.

This can be hard. You may be tempted to talk badly about your ex in front of the kids or try to turn them to "your side." For the kids, though, there are no sides. You're both their parents. If you respect your ex -- and he or she respects you -- this is the healthiest living situation for your children.

3. Don't try to control your ex.

Maybe she lets the kids stay up too late. Maybe he lets them eat junk food. Trying to control your ex's parenting style is impossible, and it just increases stress. Focus on controlling what you can, not what your ex does.

4. Give each other space.

In some cases, experts note that children hope their parents will patch things up. While you want to get along with your ex, if you have no plans to get back together, know when to give each other space so that you don't fuel these false hopes.

Of course, you may have your own resolutions based on your personal situation, but this gives you a great place to start. As you follow through on them, make sure you also know what rights you have as a parent and what you can do if your ex isn't honoring them.

Source: Marriage.com, "Practical Co-parenting Tips From Experts for the New Year," accessed Dec. 29, 2016

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