Actress and director Drew Barrymore practically grew up in Hollywood. She was 7 when "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" came to theaters, and she was still going strong in this year's "How to Be Single."
She is single herself these days. Now 41, she ended a four-year marriage in April. At a gala honoring her philanthropic efforts, Barrymore revealed that she and her ex are co-parenting their daughters amicably, so far. What are her secrets?
According to Rosalind Sedacca, a divorce and parenting expert, one secret to successful co-parenting is keep close ties with the other parent's family. "That's a sign of respect that likely will generate even more respect and cooperation from your co-parent," she says.
In Barrymore's case, that means spending lots of time with her ex and his family. For example, she remains friends with her sister-in-law Jill Kargman and made a guest appearance on Kargman's Bravo comedy series "Odd Mom Out." She has also remained close with her ex mother-in-law.
"I woke up to an email from my children's grandmother, Coco, this morning," she told reporters, "saying, 'Ok so I think for my birthday we're going to do it on the 14th. Can you make that date because it's not the same without you. I have to make sure that date works for you.'"
Barrymore adds that Coco's "love and acceptance means the world to [her]."
Making sure your children have close, caring relationships with both of their parents isn't easy after a divorce, but it's worth it. Barrymore relies on lots of plans with her ex's side of the family, but it's not the only strategy. Ultimately, "[parents should] have the maturity to be able to spend two hours in the same room," concludes Sedacca.
If you're not quite there this holiday season, make it a New Year's resolution to be more inclusive for your children's sake. If you can't do it on your own, seek help.