What Co-Parenting Is Not
Co-parenting isn't easy. Maintaining effective and consistent communication is key to a successful co-parenting relationship.
Parenting is no cakewalk. When you add in the stress of co-parenting a child with someone after a divorce, separation, or having never been together, some situations can be filled with tension and disagreements.
Good communication is key to a positive co-parenting experience. Putting the sole focus on your children, rather than on yourself or your ex, is the first step toward success. Co-parenting is not easy, but it’s worth the extra effort for the health and well-being of your children.
Co-parenting is not about you
It is also not about your co-parent. It is not about why the relationship didn’t work out or whose fault it was. Co-parenting is about both of you coming together to provide support and attention to your children after you have parted ways. It is important for you and your co-parent to agree to treat each other with mutual respect and to set that expectation for your children as well.
Co-parenting is not a competition
This is not your time to shine as the fun parent or as the best friend. It is important for you and your co-parent to agree not to overindulge your kids. It can be easy for guilt to get the better of you — or for your children to play on your emotions — causing you to overindulge their material wants or allow them to wiggle out of responsibilities. It may feel good in the short term, but in the long run, it isn’t helping you or your children.
Co-parenting is not erratic
It is important for you and your co-parent to set consistent rules between households. This includes bedtimes, curfews, screen time, disciplinary practices, and expectations for performance at school, work, and extracurricular activities. The more consistent the routines are between your households the better.
It is also beneficial to implement similar parenting styles in both homes. Research-backed ways to improve parenting include things such as praising our children, understanding the stages of development they are going through, spending time with them, and allowing appropriate freedoms.
Co-parenting is not always comfortable
If you and your co-parent are having trouble communicating, adopting a business-like tone in your communication might be helpful. Make sure you communicate frequently and document all joint decisions regarding the children.
TalkingParents was created to act as a bridge between co-parents to help with effective and accountable communication. If you and your co-parent are struggling with this, our service may be able to help.