Tips for Effective Co-Parenting
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When you and your spouse decide to end your marriage, this does not mean that you stop being parents to your kids. Some couples still believe in the roles they have to play in the lives of their children despite the situation they are currently in. Co-parenting or joint parenting is the experience of bringing up children as single parents. To achieve a successful parenting job, it should go both ways — both partners must contribute. Otherwise, the children will suffer developmental and emotional problems later on in life.
How can you effectively achieve co-parenting with an ex? Here are some tips:
Tips for Effective Co-Parenting
Understand and Practice Empathy
Working together with an ex is never easy. Sometimes, past anger and hurt can come in the way. However, practicing empathy will help you navigate this situation more effectively. If your child misses your ex-spouse, allow them to say so. Let them voice their feelings.
A child will feel more secure with stability and consistency, but you must also show flexibility, especially with schedules. When you and your ex argue about little things like visitation schedules, kids are the ones who suffer the most. Many of the family lawyers in Surrey advise sticking to a schedule for visitation, but it doesn’t hurt to become flexible. Who knows, you might need the same favour in the future.
Be Open About The Kids
If you encounter problems with your kids, voice it to your partner. Some issues arise in the teenage years — the time when they may feel alienated from you. Discuss with your partner and arrive at a mutual decision on how you would discipline your child. Should you spy on your kid’s mobile phone? Should you limit their out-of-school activities? Co-parenting means arriving at a mutual decision for the sake of your kids.
Never Put Your Kids in the Middle
If you are still bitter about the divorce or still hold resentment towards your ex, learn how to set those feelings aside. Never include your kids in your battles. Do not use your kids as a messenger. Talk to your ex-spouse directly if you must. You and your former partner must deal with your issues as adults. The same goes for badmouthing your ex. Never speak ill about your ex in front of your kids. Remember that your kids still have to maintain their relationship with their other parent. If you need to let out your frustrations, talk to a close family member or a therapist. Never talk to your kids about your issues with your ex.
Studies show that joint parenting custody has direct effects on how children grow up. By practicing consistency, you show your kids that you value them highly. Consistency will also make sure that the kids will not have to bounce on and off from different parenting styles. You and your partner can agree on what values you must instill on your kids. One parent may teach about saving up for their future, and the other may teach about the importance of sportsmanship.
The key to effective parenting is always to put the kids first. They should always be at the receiving end of positivity. While the divorce or separation is hard for you and your partner, it is a lot harder for the kids. They would often think about things like: do they have to side with one parent over the other? Never put them in that situation.
If co-parenting is hard for you, start slowly. Before you know it, you will be effectively co-parenting with your partner.