Establishing and maintaining a collaborative approach to parenting is essential for divorced parents who share custody. Co-parenting can be a challenge, however. Finding ways to set boundaries and share responsibilities can provide a solid framework for raising your children together. Creating a workable co-parenting plan is a good first step toward achieving the healthiest environment for kids and adults alike. Here are some proven co-parenting tips for you and your former partner.
Making a point to discuss matters of importance together when talking with your children can prevent them from attempting to play the two of you against each other. This is especially important when setting ground rules for your children and instituting punishments for misbehavior. By making sure that both of you are on the same page regarding discipline and rules, you can provide a stable and secure environment for the children in your care.
Maintain Clear Lines of Communication
Staying in close touch with your co-parenting partner can help you in a number of important ways. Open lines of communication can keep you in the loop about medical issues, educational progress and other events that affect the well-being of your children. By making sure that you and your former spouse or partner can talk easily to each other, you can provide better support for the children you two share.
Stay Positive About Your Former Partner
No matter what issues contributed to the breakup of your relationship, making sure your children feel comfortable in talking with and confiding in both parents can help them adjust more quickly and easily to new living arrangements. By refraining from making negative comments and presenting a united front to the children for whom you are responsible, you can present a good example while helping them to feel more secure.
Stick to the Co-Parenting Plan
If you have already decided on the educational, medical and religious experiences you want for your children, making changes to these established arrangements should not take place on a unilateral basis. Taking the time to discuss any changes with your former spouse and co-parent can help you build trust and create a positive environment for your children.
Allow for Some Flexibility
Making accommodations for changing schedules and responsibilities can help you and your former partner work together more effectively over the long run. Unexpected opportunities and obstacles can occur at any time. Allowing for changes to the schedule and going out of your way to help your co-parent manage issues as they arise can often create a more amicable atmosphere that can result in them returning the favor when your needs require it.
By treating your co-parent in the way you would like to be treated yourself, you can build a positive relationship based on mutual respect. While your romance may be over, you can still share the joy of parenthood with your former spouse. Together, you can continue to build a solid foundation for the children you created together.