Successful Co-parenting

Successful Co-parenting

It is not about you. If it is about winning for you, your child will likely be the loser. Put your own emotions aside and act on what is best for your child, not what is best for you, even if the outcome is not what you want. Look beyond your broken relationship; divorce or separation may have ended your relationship or marriage, but you are still family to your children.

Communicate with each other. Keep direct channels of communication open so that your child doesn’t feel like a go-between. You must develop a style of regular and proper communication. Communicate directly with your coparent and steer away from talking through your respective lawyers or your children. Communication is not just about talking; it is listening as well, and there needs to be dialogue.

Reduce conflict. It is not the separation that is damaging to children. The desired outcome is the one that offers the lowest risk of exposure to conflict, so agree not to argue in front of the children. Children are extremely perceptive of their parents’ emotions.

Plan and be consistent about handovers. Keep to commitments on times and places. If there needs to be changes give advance notice and make alternative arrangements. Minimise opportunities for conflict. For example, school may be a good handover point. The father fetches the children on a Friday and delivers them back on a Monday. (That way there is minimal physical contact between high conflict parents).

Routines should be similar. Each home will have different routines and rules. However, it is important that one stick or at least try to stick to mutually agreed guidelines. Having a completely different set of rules may be harmful to the children and will confuse them.

Respect each other. The children love you both, therefore respect each other’s privacy and do not speak negatively about each other in front of the children. Putting your children in the middle of your arguments is unfair on them. You separate from each other, not your children.

Compromise Disagreements. With your ex you are part of raising children. Parenting styles differ, so there will be times when you and your ex will be at loggerheads with each other but, if you do disagree, try to find the middle ground. Don’t be side-tracked by the molehills when the mountains are what matter most.

Go to: Alienating the other parent

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