Today’s world presents many unnecessary stressors on children. For example, children should not have additional stress in their life from the two people they love and admire the most, their mother and father. These ten tips should help you co-parent in a more stress-free environment that will benefit not only you but more importantly will alleviate your child dealing with one less stressor in their life.
Number One – Love your children more then you dislike the other parent. Divorce or separation is hard on the whole family, it creates hurt feelings and confusion for the children involved. Set your hurt aside and remember your children have one mother and one father. “Whatever your issues are with your co-parent, put your children’s well-being on the front burner, always.” Sylvia Smith.
Number Two – Remember to pause and put yourself in the shoes of the other parent. Sometimes just a simple change in basic assumptions of putting yourself in the other parents’ shoes can make all the difference. Children have two parents, and it is important to consider the other parent’s opinions and suggestions for the benefit of your child.
Number Three – Good communication. Clear, concise, and informative communication between two parents can avoid a lot of problems. Always timely notify the other parent of doctors’ appointments, school meetings, sporting events or any other significant life events. Avoid criticizing, blaming, or trying to control situations when communicating, it allows the coparenting to progress in a peaceful and smooth manner. Perhaps have another person proofread your e-mail or text messages prior to sending. Keep the communication focused on the child.
Number Four – Keep your eye on the result. Remember that the goal is to raise your child to become a healthy, confident and happy adult. “When co-parents can be predictable, demonstrate self-control with each other, and co-parent effectively, children can settle into their lives and be fully invested in the business of growing up.” Karene Bonnell, co-parent coach. Have a short memory of any hurt and forgive the other parent quickly. Never forget how short the time is when your children are young. It goes fast and soon your child will be an adult.
Number Five – Be flexible when you can. Extend grace. There will be a time where you need the other parent to be flexible with you as well.
Number Six – Be mindful of your new romantic interest and do not let someone else parent for you; you must do the co-parenting yourself. Make sure your child knows you have their attention during your time with them.
Number Seven – Keep the children out of the conflict. Do not ever ask your child to pick sides or communicate for you. Always allow them to be a child.
Number Eight – Try to be inclusive, share information with the other parent regarding baseball games, the choir concerts, the baptisms, and if possible, plan group events, include them in the birthday party at your house it will mean a lot to your children.
Number Nine – Bring in outside help when needed. Use a parent facilitator or therapist who specializes in co-parenting to assist with difficult times. Use a co-parenting App such as our family wizard. These co-parenting apps provide secure messaging, shared calendars, a place to share expenses, recorded calls, and more, to help streamline and encourage practical and respectful communication between co-parents.
Number Ten – Have a common calendar and a common rule. This way your child knows what is always expect of him/her. This is instilling security for the child and creates a feeling of teamwork and confidence between the parents.
Raising children is challenging work and when it is done in two different homes it can be really difficult. But, with a few rules it can be done smoothly and effectively and with great results.