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Holly speaks about raising kids, organizing the home and saving money on her blog, Bonza Brats. She is a friend of this blog and loves to share insights about her love for family, children and homemaking.

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Divorce is hard as it is. Separating from your partner and completely starting over is one thing, while maintaining a relationship with a child is something else. When a marriage ends and divorce is the only way to go, co-parenting is an important issue that partners must discuss if there are children involved. Divorce does not have to result to a broken home and children losing their way. Co-parenting in an amicable manner can provide children the close relationships and stability that they need from both parents, even if they are not under one roof.

Here are some co-parenting tips on how you can make life easier for everyone, not just for you and your partner but for the children.

  1. picture 2Do not speak negatively about your ex. Children love your partner as much as they love you. They do not want hearing bad things about either parent because they get the impression that they would have to take sides. That is something children must never do. Whether it be criticizing your ex or talking about his/her back, children don?t have to hear what you think of them.
  2. Diffuse any bomb in sight. Co-parents may not always get along with one another. If you think about it, parents don?t get along as well. Conflict between co-parents can be more dangerous because they are from different households and scheduling meeting time and quality time with children can even be difficult at times. As soon as you see that a bomb is in sight, diffuse it. Communicate with your ex-partner on how you can solve the problem together in such a way that it would not affect the children.
  3. Take a breather. Take time to reflect on your behavior and your decisions. Make sure that these do have an effect on your children. When there is constant disagreement between co-parents, accept that the other person cannot change so the best way to resolve it is to meet each other in between. If two people who didn?t get along when they were married are expected to co-parent, some help is expected. If it gets really difficult, seek the counsel of an expert and talk the problem out. An outsider?s opinion can help in seeing the situation differently.
  4. Make your children feel secure. Once the parents feel the love of both parents, they adjust more quickly and easily to divorce. They also have better self-esteem. Despite the parents no longer living together, there still must be come consistency. There should still be similar rules, discipline and rewards between the households. In that way, children know what to expect and what is expected of them. Cooperating with your co-parent also establishes a pattern that is beneficial and healthy for children.
  5. picture 3Children are not spies. Children should be free to enjoy each parent without having to fear the other. It is not healthy for them to be spies or to look into the life of a parent.
  6. Avoiding hot-button issues. You and your co-parent must know each other like the back of your hand to the point that you are aware of the ?hot issues? in your relationship. Try to avoid these issues when you are in front of the children to avoid tension and conflict.
  7. Treat the other parent in a business-like manner. Just because things did not work out well between you on a personal level does not meant that the two of you cannot co-exist professionally. When discussing schedules and meet ups concerning your children, discuss with your co-partner. Communicate well. Tell them that these are the dates that you need them there for the children. Do your end of the bargain as well. Whatever it takes, do what is agreed upon. If there are last minute-changes, inform your ex-partner so that you can adjust.
  8. Set hurt and anger aside. Whatever happened between you and your ex-partner must not seep over to the children. The key to co-parenting is to focus on the children and just the children. Your emotions – anger, hurt, resentment – must take a backseat. Prioritize the needs of the children. Setting aside these feelings may mean that you would have to cooperate with your ex especially at the time when it is most vital. Co-parenting is not about your emotions or those of your ex-partner, but rather the happiness and stability of the children, that are very essential to their future well-being.
  9. picture 6Don’t make your children mediators. If you have a message for your co-partner, tell them yourselves. Don’t say, “Tell your father he hasn’t sent the check yet,” or “Ask your mother if you can go with me this weekend.” These messages give the children the impression that you and your co-partner are not speaking and it can make them uncomfortable. Messengers are often the ones who lose their heads. You wouldn’t want that to happen to your children.
  10. Be consistent. Divorce may have led to changes but co-parenting, when there’s a pattern results to consistency. Your children will adjust to this. Once you and your co-parent have established a schedule for custody that is effective for everyone involved, stick with this. Be consistent and completely dedicate yourselves to this. The children will also get the hang of doing these activities on certain days and certain times and they will adjust their lives accordingly to accommodate both parents.

 

You know that you and your co-parent have a healthy relationship and have successful co-parenting techniques when you communicate. Whenever conflicts arise, remind yourselves that this is for your children and they must love both of you, no matter what happens. The outcome is for the children. The decision you make with your co-partner is for the betterment of the children. Even if you are no longer romantically involved, you are still parents of the children. Even if you are living under separate roofs, the children must benefit from you. They must feel your love, care and support and you can do this by establishing a strong co-parenting partnership.

 

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picture 8- HollyAuthor: Holly Easterby

Holly’s love for children has seen her featured in many education and children websites, whether talking about healthy snacks, motivating students or children’s fashion at Bonza Brats. Holly loves reading books, and shopping is her way of spending time with her young family. If you would like to catch her, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @HollyEasterby

About Natasha

Hi, I'm Natasha! I'm a 30-something Program Manager and blogger at Epic Mommy Adventures. Most importantly, I'm a single mom to my adorable son, who drives me nuts in one moment and melts my heart in the next. I enjoy sharing our epic stories, giving advice to other single moms, and sharing my co-parenting woes. I also share blog hops, giveaways, product reviews, and so much more. Join the fun!

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