Co-parenting is one of the possible parenting arrangements that can be used after parents divorce. This requires both adults to work as a team to make decisions regarding raising the children. It’s not always easy for the parents to put themselves aside to do this, but it’s well worth it for the kids.
There are several things you can do that might make the co-parenting arrangement a bit easier. The goal should be to provide the children with stability and an environment in which they can thrive.
1. Focus on what’s best for the children
Always focus on what the kids need. The way the divorce has affected you or your co-parent isn’t of any account. The only consideration you should think about is what the children need. That means putting aside your differences and acknowledging that a bad spouse may be a good parent.
2. Encourage important relationships
The children shouldn’t ever feel like they have to choose between your side of the family and your ex’s side. Encourage them to have meaningful relationships with both sides, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
3. Keep disagreements away from the kids
While it’s expected that you’ll disagree with your ex sometimes, those incidents should be kept away from the children. Kids who hear their parents argue may start to internalize the issues. They may blame themselves for what’s going on, and that’s not a good thing for children to do. Throughout the divorce and after, let them know the divorce isn’t their fault.
Co-parents must ensure they’re doing what they can to make their relationship successful. Having a parenting plan that puts the children first is one of the best ways to do this. All components of the plan must be set based on what the kids need now. It’s possible to modify it in the future if the children’s needs change.