In order to discuss “co parenting” we should first define it. Co Parenting does not only mean parents are separated or divorced, it can also mean parenting as a team while still living together. For this articles purpose though lets assume to parents are separated or Divorced. Co parenting is exactly what the phrase implies. The two parents work as a team or unit for the best interest of the child(ren). Given the fact the parents no longer share a single residence there will be differences. Co parenting can still exist it requires you (The parents) put aside your differences for the common good of the child(ren) Co parenting is not a contest! No one wins or loses, in fact the only winner or loser is the child(ren). Lets now look at how we can “co parent” a child or children.
You two may hate each other now or think you do but in order to raise a healthy child you need to talk. The courts can iron out custody, support and visitation but you two must still raise the child. You two need to discuss what each feel s the child’s needs are. If there are differences you need to compromise for the sake of the child. This wont be easy. You need to put aside your personal issues with other parent and make healthy decisions for your child. If it becomes a problem to have such open discussions them perhaps professional help is advised. Remember your child’s health is whats at risk here. Do not make this about you or other parent. Discuss your childs educational needs, health concerns, discipline, eating habits, etc etc try to leave no stone unturned. Any issue left without discussion could fuse a vicious battle that will only hurt the child. You should also discuss when and how your child should have contact with any new person in other parent’s life, especially any new romantic interest. Introducing your child to a new love can have a very serious impact on a child if not done right. As stated earlier if you cannot agree seek a professional advice. We could discuss this for hours and hours but time and space to not permit that. If you go to the forum section of this site you can discuss your concerns with other parents. In mean time here are some dos and don’ts for co parenting.
- Keep an open dialog with other parent
- Put your child(ren) needs before your own
- Keep positive tone to questions or concerns child(ren) have over the divorce or separation
- Make sure child(ren) know they have nothing to do with split and you both still love them.
- Keep daily life the same with as few changes as possible
- Make time for child and answer all questions child has. You do not need to go into details just answer their questions.
- Never speak ill of other parent
- Never avoid conversation about your split if asked
- Never keep vital information from other parent
- Do not blame child for split
- Do not ask child for information about other parent after a visit or any contact with other parent
- Do not discuss issues like custody, support, visitation with child
- Never introduce a new romantic interest as new Mom or Dad or even potential one.
- Do not allow any love interest to be called Mom or Dad by child
These are simple do’s and don’ts you can find more or get more details in the forum section of this site. There you can engage in discussions with others as well.