Co-Parenting for Success
Co-parenting goes beyond simply being civil with your child’s other parent. Although living in separate homes, co-parenting plays a crucial role in the child’s development, confidence, and resilience. Below are some tips to help assist co-parenting success and setting up your kiddo for a better atmosphere.
Heal From the Past
Co-parenting could possibly mean a difficult past with your child’s other parent. You have the right to feel hurt, disappointed, and frustrated. Co-parenting can be hard and you are able to vent to loved ones and support systems. However, it is important to not express the negative resentment to the child when it is related to the other parent. It is not the child’s job to be in that position. Instead, find an outlet where you are able to heal from the past in order to keep the focus on your shared child.
Different Homes, Same Rules
Children need consistency. It is difficult for a child to adjust switching from one home to the other, let alone having each home with different rules, expectations, and structure. Which home am I able to have a later bedtime? Do I need to clean my room each week at dad’s or mom’s? Having the same expectations, standards, and structures allows the child to have a smoother transition.
This means that there needs to be good communication between parents! Work together to compromise and decide the mutual rules. Think about: bedtime, chores, morning and night routine, homework, discipline, etc.
Use Good Communication Skills
If communication has been difficult with the ex in your past, treat communication with them as a business consultation. Have a purpose for the discussion, be respectful and direct, communicate directly, and cooperate with each other. A part of a business consultation is mutual power in the discussion, sharing ideas, putting a plan together, and remember the main goal of the discussion= doing what’s best for the shared child.
When there is conflict, it is natural to want to go on the defense. Unfortunately that can lead to ineffective communication and blame. Try utilizing I-statements when discussing difficult topics. This keeps the focus on your feelings and needs, instead of who is at fault.
I feel ______ when _____. I need ______.
- Talking negatively about the other parent in front of the child.
- Having your share child feel like they need to “choose a side.”
- Stray away from the agreed parenting plan without discussing it with the co-parent.
- Not addressing concerns or topics to “keep the peace” and bottling everything up.
- Not taking care of yourself and your needs!