Co-parenting can and should be a positive situation for both parents and the child(ren). Whether you are the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, you can set the positive standard for the workings of your co-parenting relationship. It goes a long way in how you choose to act in or react to any situation.
5 Healthy Co-Parenting Tips
Love Yourself/Love Others
It is so easy sometimes to be rude or uncooperative when you’re not happy with who you are. When things aren’t right on the inside or you feel like some things just aren’t happening for you whether it be career-wise or personal, if we’re not self-aware, those feelings can cause us to act out negatively. The key is to understand who you are as a person, do those things that bring you joy and add to your life, and treat others well. No one can make you happy or is responsible for your happiness. We should never try to place such a burden on another person. You are in charge of your own happiness. Make loving yourself, your children, and, yes, even the other parent a priority so you can enjoy a fulfilling co-parenting relationship.
Communicate Early and Often
Do not assume that the other parent knows some sort of information and do not assume that they remember what you told them a week ago. Go ahead and be the bigger person. Call them or text/email that information to them to make sure they have what they need to help you or be supportive of the kid(s). Communication is important with any relationship and helps to build great partnerships. Furthermore, it’s important for your child to see you model these positive characteristics so hopefully they follow suit.
Do Your Part
Do what you say you will do to the best of your ability. Don’t promise your child or the other parent something and not follow through. One of the worse things you can do is to be all talk and no action. You never want to set a precedence where your child actually expects to be disappointed by your lack of action. If something comes up that causes you to change plans (and this cannot happen often), pick up the phone to explain instead of texting. Messages can get lost in translation and tone. Moreover, hearing your voice helps you to maintain trust with your children and with the other parent.
Spend Quality Time with Your Kid(s)
You always want to have a presence in their life and let them know you will always be there for them. It’s really not that hard to do. Don’t think too much on this – just do it. Simple playtime in the park, a ride to buy ice cream, or helping with homework goes a long way. Sometimes, your fellow co-parent is depending on you to take the kids so that she or he can have some much-needed individual time or to run some errands solo. Don’t let anyone down if you can help it.
Learn the Art of Conflict Resolution
Think back to a time when you had a disagreement with the other parent. How did you handle the situation? How did you respond to the other parent? Also think about how you communicate with the other parent. What is your tone of voice? Do you know how to handle difficult situations without becoming angry or saying things that you would later regret?
First, listen to what the person is saying without thinking about your response. Then, repeat back to them what you heard them say so you can have clear understanding. This is called active listening. Try to come up with a resolution together. Refrain from arguing back and forth. If you come to a standstill, consider talking to a counselor or other expert to help you settle the issue.Co-parenting can and should be a positive situation for both parents and the child(ren). Click To Tweet
I understand that some of these suggestions may not be easy for some people for one reason or another. However, that is not an excuse to not try your best at developing a healthy co-parenting relationship. No need to let minor situations or even huge problems for that matter cause continued disruption. If simply for your child’s well-being, do all you can to resolve the conflict in the best way possible.
What other tips do you have for co-parents?
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