Although you and your partner are no longer together, you need to remain civil for the sake of the child you have together. You want to leave the lines of communication open with your ex so that he or she will know what is happening with your child and what the child's needs are. Never belittle your ex in front of your child, but rather encourage the child to build a strong relationship with the other parent.
Present a unified front regarding rules and discipline
Even though the child will be dealing with two separate parenting styles, the two of you need to decide on a plan that allows for consistent rules and discipline methods that will be administered at both homes. For instance, if you have a rule that your teen will have no more than two hours of Internet time a day during the week, your ex should have a similar rule when your child visits him.
My ex is a narcissist and selfish. What can I do?
Co-parenting is difficult when your ex does not take seriously their responsibility toward the child. In this case it might be best not to call often since they are too self-absorbed to discuss what is going on in your child's life. Document the times when the father has not made child support payments or when he failed to visit your child. Focus more on being the mature parent.
Sometimes compromise is necessary
There may be times when you and the other parent will not agree on matters concerning the child, but you will need to learn the skill of compromise so that your co-parenting will improve. For example, you may want your daughter to focus on attending trade school and getting a job right after high school because you feel that she does not have the necessary skills and dedication for college. But the other parent may feel that college is something she is prepared for. The two of you can decide that your daughter should attend community college, since it offers courses in skills that would also be taught at a trade school.
Enjoy your alone time when the kids are with the other parent
Instead of worrying about what your kids are doing at the other parent's house, use this time to enjoy the break you have. Go shopping for the weekend, call some old friends, take a long nap, read your favorite magazines or catch up on assignments if you work from home.
Talk to your child about his feelings
This is important because he needs to feel that he has a voice within the co-parenting relationship. If your child prefers to spend summers with the other parent, tell him that you are okay with this and that you will try to arrange for it to happen with the other parent.
Co-parenting gets difficult at times, but try using the above-mentioned hints — it is possible to maintain your sanity.