Co-parenting is shared parental responsibility of a child of a couple who has separated, divorced or share the custody of the child. The responsibility of co-parenting is very challenging especially for couples who split acrimoniously. It is necessary to make co-parenting a success so that the emotional and mental well being of the child is not severely affected. Co-parenting cannot be successful until and unless both the parents contribute positively. There is no shortage of estranged couples who have raised their children well by coping successfully with the challenges of co-parenting.
These are some of the suggestions that can help divorced or separated couples in managing their co-parenting responsibilities.
Separate Your Emotions
Separating the feeling of hurt, resentment or anger that the estranged parents feel for each other from their co-parenting responsibilities is very important. Establishing a working relationship with each other by setting aside their personal feelings is necessary for parents for the well being of their child. It is essential to understand for the separated couple is that even though the marital relationship between them is over, their shared responsibility of the child will continue until he/she becomes a responsible adult. Taking help from therapists and friends to manage your emotions is a suitable course of action. Cooperating for the sake of the child is the key.
Establish Open Communication
Communication is an important aspect of co-parenting. The parents need to communicate with each other regularly to share information about their child. Face-to-face conversations may be difficult especially after a messy divorce. In such cases, the parents can communicate with each other through emails, voicemails, phone calls, text messages, etc. Online co-parenting communication tools are also available which enable parents to share information, upload schedules and chat. Avoiding communication with each other or getting into conflicts during communication ultimately hurts the child.
Do Not Influence The Child
The child needs to have a good connection with both parents. Thus, neither of the parents should try to poison the mind of the child against the other parent. Personal issues should be kept away from the child, and he/she should not be influenced to think negative about his father or mother. The child’s relationship with both of his parents should be equally good.
Reach A Consensus Concerning Discipline
The child should not become irresponsible and indisciplined just because the parents have fallen apart with each other. Thus, agreeing to the same rules for the child with respect to mealtime, bedtime, homework and study time, play time. It’s an important aspect of co-parenting. This provides a sense of stability and security to the child and keeps his/her life disciplined. There is no need for either of the parents to win the affection of the child by acting too lenient.
Send The child To Your Ex In A Positive Manner
The child needs to visit the other parent’s house as per agreed schedule. The parent must keep things simple and positive for the child. Reminding the child of his/her visit to his mother/father in a few days and helping the child in packing.