Divorce affects everyone in the family, including children. More likely than not, divorce is a hard time for them as their normal is taken from them. This is why proper co-parenting is necessary. Proper co-parenting helps to minimize the damage of separation, allowing a child with divorced parents to grow properly even if his/her parent are no longer together.
Here, we will talk about co-parenting tips. But before we delve further into it, we will start by explaining what it really is, how to make it work, and the benefits of proper co-parenting for children. The tips on co-parenting follow after that. Alright, with no further ado, let’s start.
What Is Co-parenting?
According to the Department of Health and Human Services co-parenting also known as shared parenting or joint parenting, is a type of parenting where kids are raised by fathers and mothers who are separated or divorced.
Dealing with parents’ divorce is never easy. In this method, each parent raises the kids as a single parent. This method is rarely easy but if done properly, it can help child with divorced parents grow up feeling secure and loved despite the parents’ separation.
Why is proper co-parenting necessary? Because unless the family faced issues like substance abuse or domestic violence, juveniles need both mother and father present in their life.
Also, research suggests that their mental and emotional well-being may be strongly affected by the quality of the co-parents’ relationship. Of course, proper parenting requires both parents to work amicably with each other.
Making It Work
For child with divorced parents, co-parenting is rarely easy. Proper application requires both father and mother to work with each other raising their children.
This method cannot be done only by one parent. Both have to do it together. And this is easier said than done, especially if the mom and dad have a contentious relationship with each other.
How do you make co-parenting work? By separating your personal relationship with your ex and the co-parenting relationship. Changing how you perceive your relationship can be helpful.
This new relationship is based solely on the well-being of the kiddies and not about you or your ex. Indeed, the most important priority here is to act in your kids’ best interests.
Benefits of Co-parenting for Child
The marriage may be over between the parents but the family is not. For child with divorced parents, the first step to take is to be a proper co-parent is to be mature and responsible by putting the needs of the kids ahead of oneself.
Proper conduct is beneficial for kids. Below are some of the benefits of proper parenting styles.
Child with Divorced Parents are healthier, both mentally and emotionally
Proper conduct from non-custodial parent also make juveniles healthier mentally and emotionally. Conversely, co-parenting that involves conflict between the co-parents affects children negatively.
Kids who raised with the negative methods are more likely to develop issues like anxiety, ADHD, or depression.
Child with Divorced Parents feel secure
A child with divorced parents who have separated families feels secure when he’s confident that both of their mother and father love them.
As a result, they can adjust more easily and quickly to the parents’ divorce and to new living situations. They have better self-esteem, too.
Child with Divorced Parents have a Healthy Role Model for a Relationship
A good co-parenting relationship involves cooperation from mother and father. This cooperation between father-mother establishes a pattern for the kiddies and a healthy role model for a relationship.
After all, despite the hardship, both of the separated families can cooperate with each other for the sake of their kiddies.
Child with Divorced Parents Obtains Benefit from Consistency
Proper co-parenting fosters consistency from the discipline, rules, and rewards between households. Kids benefit from this consistency as it teaches them what is expected of them and what to expect.
Child with Divorced Parents Has a Better Problem-Solving Skill
How the separated family works together in this method can also benefit kids. Seeing how their mom and dad continue to work together despite the divorce helps them to learn how to solve problems peacefully and effectively.
Co-Parenting Tip #1: Establish a Good Communication with Your Partner
One of child with divorced parents rights is to have peaceful, purposeful, and consistent communication between separated parents. No co-parenting is successful without it.
Depending on your relationship with your ex, this can be a surmounting task. That is understandable. Although effective communication with your ex could be difficult, a change of mindset will help to make it less difficult.
Communication with your partner has one important purpose: the well-being of your kids. Before you interact with your ex, always keep in mind that your actions will affect your kids one way or another.
Thus, communicate properly. In every discussion with your partner, always make your kids the focal point.
Meeting and communicating with your ex in person is not always necessary. Communicating over the phone, exchanging texts and/or emails are fine as well.
The main goal here is to develop conflict-free communication. How you do it is not that important.
Use the type of contact that fits your situation best. Although this condition is not as severe as for children of incarcerated parents, you must ensure that communication runs smoothly.
Effective Communication for Co-Parenting
The followings are helpful methods you can try to initiate as well as maintain effective communication between divorced parents.
Communicate in a Business-like Tone
This is one way to see your new relationship with your ex. Your “business” here is the well-being of your child and your ex is your business partner.
So when you communicate with your ex, try to communicate in a business-like tone. Relax, talk slowly, and communicate with neutrality, respect, and cordiality.
When you communicate with your ex, don’t forget to listen. Remember, listening does not necessarily mean that you agree with their point of view. It does, however, convey that you at least understand your ex’s point of view even if you disagree with it.
Divorced parents should communicate with one another as long as they raise their juveniles, perhaps even longer.
So, when you communicate with your ex, do show restraint. Train yourself so you will not overreact to your ex in case they try to push your “buttons”.
Statements can be misinterpreted as demands. To avoid this, try to reframe your statements as a request. When you communicate with your ex, you can use “Can we try something?” or “Would you be willing to do…?” to start your statement, for example.
Resolve to Communicate Consistently
In the early stages, it can be very difficult to communicate with your ex. However, you need to resolve to communicate consistently with your ex.
Consistent communication between parents conveys the message to your son or daughter that you and your ex are there for them.
Stay Focused on Your Child
The conversation between you and your ex should be limited to the needs of your kids only. Do not allow the conversation about your child’s needs digress into a conversation about the needs of either of you.
Co-parenting Tip #2: Put Your Emotions Aside
Separation could be a painful process for child with divorced parents. However, you need to keep in mind that for a co-parenting to work, mom and dad must put their emotions aside.
Emotions like hurt, anger, or resentment, must be put aside. This method is all about the stability, happiness, and the well-being of the kid.
Separate Feelings from Actions
Separation is not something easy to deal with both parents and juveniles. You may feel hurt and/or angry due to it. It is okay to feel those feelings.
That being said, do not allow your feelings to dictate your actions. Let what is best for your kid to motivate your actions instead.
Get the Feelings Out, but Never to Your Child
You should get all feelings that you feel due to separation out but never vent those feelings to your kid. Going to therapists or talking to your feelings can help with this. Even a loving pet can help.
All make good listeners, allowing you to get the negative feelings out. Exercise can help to let off steam, too.
Any time you feel resentful or angry, try to remember the most important thing that is at stake: the well-being of your kid. Stay focused and never put the most important thing at stake.
Don’t put Your Child in the Middle
The effects of divorce on family are negative feelings like bitterness or resentment due to their break up. If you feel these negative feelings, try to compartmentalize them. Remember that those feelings are your issue.
You are the one who has to deal with them, not your child. So, keep them away from your child.
Keep the Issues to Yourself
This method can’t work if you talk negative things about the other parent to your child. It can’t work if you make your child choose a side, either. If you have issues with your ex, resolve it between the two of you. Keep your child away from these issues.
Never use Your Kid as a Messenger
There are cases where divorced parents use their children as messengers. Never do this. When you put a child in the center of the conflict between you and your ex, you basically ask them to choose a side.
Always remember that a child has the right to have a relationship with both parents, not just one.
Co-Parenting Tip #3: Work as a Team
Co-parenting is done by both parents. One parent can’t do it without the other. As such, it is best for divorced parents to work as a team in co-parenting.
Communicating and cooperating effectively, without bickering, blow-ups, or anything like that makes decision making a lot easier for everyone.
Aim for Consistency
Consistency is important in co-parenting. At the very least, your kiddies should live under the same set of expectations at each household.
Both households should have generally consistent guidelines. The small details can be different, but the general ideas like homework issues, off-limit activities, and curfews should be the same.
If possible, also aim to make your beloved son or daughter schedule consistent. Similar meal time, bedtimes, and homework will help them to adjust to the situation.
Discipline should also be applied in both households. Regardless of where your child is, reward good behavior and apply consequences for broken rules.
Major Decisions Should be Made by Both Parents
Major decisions like education, medical needs, and financial issues should be made by divorced father and mother. When you discuss these major decisions, always be open, straightforward, and honest.
When There are Disagreements
There will be disagreements in the new relationship. That doesn’t necessarily mean you stop cooperating. Rather, there are ways to solve disagreements. When you disagree with your ex, remember the following.
- Be respectful
Respect between mom and dad goes a long way in this method. Be respectful and considerate. When possible, be flexible about your schedule. When discussing something important, take your ex opinion seriously.
- Keep talking
If you and your ex disagree on important issues, keep talking. But don’t talk about the differences between the two of you in front of or with your kids.
Both divorced parents should come around each other’s perspective when it comes to raising kids. Be flexible and compromise. Compromising allows both of you and most importantly, your child to “win”.
- Focus on the bigger issues and don’t sweat the small ones
Don’t waste your energy on small issues like whether your kid should go to bed at 07:30 or 08:00 pm. Focus on bigger issues like education and medical needs instead.
Co-parenting Tip #4: Make the Transitions Process Easier for Your Child
A child with divorced parents will have the hard time during separation process . Keep in mind that due to the separation of the family, a reunion with one parent is another separation from the other for the juvenile. There is a “goodbye” behind every “hello”.
The transitions cannot be avoided but you can make them a lot easier for your child. Here’s how:
- When your son or daughter leaves, you can help them pack in advance, help them to anticipate change by reminding them that they will be leaving for the other parent in advance.
- When your son or daughter returns, which can be awkward for the both of you, have some downtime together, give them some space and allow them to adjust, and establish a special routine each time they return.
- Remember to control children whether they are get bullying in schools. Important, their education is paramount to their future.
For a child with divorced parents, life is by no means easy. What both parents need to understand is that proper co-parenting is necessary. It is through proper co-parenting that kids are able to grow up feeling secure and loved even if their parents are divorced. Our tips above at the very least should help you to assess the situation better.