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How to successfully co-parent your children

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Family Law |

Divorcing your spouse is challenging and anyone who goes through it understands that. If the couple divorcing has children, the situation can become more complicated.

However, decision-making regarding child custody does not necessarily have to be challenging if the parents are willing to collaborate with each other.

In many cases, especially in recent years, couples have chosen to co-parent after divorce.

What is co-parenting?

Co-parenting is an agreement where both parents continue to jointly participate in their child’s upbringing despite the divorce. Parents remain very present and active in their child’s day-to-day life.

While this choice is excellent for many families, even the best parents can run into difficulties, and it is important to understand that in the beginning so parents can be prepared to manage and resolve conflict.

It is important to remember that in any relationship, conflict is inevitable. What determines what happens in that relationship is how the parties choose to handle the conflict.

In other words, conflict should not come as a shock to you, and many times it is a positive thing because it brings up important issues that people should talk about.

Tips to co-parent successfully

To start off your co-parenting journey on a good note, here are some tips that should help you and the other parent navigate your new reality.

Communicate openly and be positive

Attitude is extremely important in solving conflict. Mediators who oversee disputes and specialize in helping people solve problems say that the outcome of a case or dispute depends largely on the people’s ability and willingness to be civil, respectful and positive in their interactions.

Set boundaries that are consistent

It is important for you and the other parent to have clear boundaries to avoid frequent conflict. It is also especially important to provide children with consistency in their day-to-day lives.

Children thrive when their environment is one where they feel safe and secure, which is what consistency helps do.

Have a parenting plan and stick to it

At the beginning of your co-parenting journey, sit down with the other parent and create a co-parenting plan that works for both of you.

Make sure it considers holidays, school events, birthdays, and special days that are important in your family, as well as changes that could take place in the future.

For example, if after the divorce the parents begin dating other people, which is absolutely normal, the parents should make decisions about whether they will continue using the same parenting plan or change it to consider the change in circumstances.

Be mature and do not speak ill of your former spouse

One of the most important things a parent can do for their child is not speak ill of their former spouse. That is critical because the divorce is between the adults, not the children, and it should remain that way.

It is important to show respect for the relationship between your child and their other parent, especially if you are co-parenting, which assumes they are invested in their children and love them very much.

Engage in self-care often

Make sure you are always taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Find hobbies that you enjoy to discover who you are now that your identity is shifting.

Ask yourself what you want to do with the rest of your life and ensure that list is compatible with your children’s lives.

Focus on the children

Last but definitely not least, focus on the children. Divorce is hard for kids. They suffer through the divorce process and beyond, and it is heartbreaking to watch.

However, children are also resilient and strong, and they have the ability to come back from this better and stronger.

Make sure to support your child as they come back from these challenges and to be there for them if they need anything. Be proactive and offer help. Also, let them know that you care for and love them. Children need to hear that from their parents.

Co-parenting is a wonderful idea, and it works well for many families. However, it does not come without difficulties or challenges that you will encounter along the way.

Remember the principle that conflict is inevitable but how you manage it is up to you, and you should be able to get through any problem with that attitude and willingness to collaborate with the other parent.


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