Whenever two parents are no longer in a romantic relationship with eachother, there is a range of parenting issues and problems that can arise.
Let’s face it, it isn’t easy to continue to work together and communicate with someone who you used to be in a relationship with, and are no longer. Most people get to avoid their exes for life but when you have a shared child together you don’t get this opportunity.
However, depsite the potential negatives, there is the potential for a lot of good to come from co-parenting.
It’s all about how you do it.
Here are our best tips on how to co-parent effectively and successfully.
A common mistake separated parents make is trying to communicate through their child or some other third party.
The only way is to communicate directly with eachother.
Cut out all the games and just speak to eachother openly and honestly.
It could be very hard at first but it is so worth it to stick at it and try to improve your communication skills the best you can.
If you are really struggling, try having someone to mediate your conversations or, better yet, avail of a counsellor or therapist.
Just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean it isn’t the right choice.
Don’t Use Your Child as a Sounding Board
It’s really important that you don’t talk negatively about your ex-partner to your child.
Don’t vent to them about problems you’re having or complain to them about their other parent’s personality or traits.
They are not an impartial person in this conversation and it is unfair to put them in that position.
They can feel stuck in the middle, confused, and stressed out.
If you need to vent talk to another adult or, again, to a qualified counsellor.
If you want to keep things private then you can try writing in a diary or a journal. Remember that your thoughts and feelings are adult thoughts and feelings, and children are not equipped to process and deal with them yet.
Let them make up their own mind about their parent and let them their navigate their own relationship with them.
Stay firm in your conversations with your other co-parent.
You need to have good boundaries for you and your child, and you can’t compromise on them.
Be clear and confident about what you want and what you will offer in return.
If they aren’t co-operative at all, you might need to take things to court.
But hopefully with open but firm conversation, you can both work things out by yourselves.
This will always be best for your child.
Focus on Your Child and Their Needs
The most important thing in co-parenting is your child and their needs.
No matter what drama or hard feelings there are between the two of you, don’t let them get in the way of caring for and loving your child equally.
Children deserve a safe and happy space to grow up in and efffective, calm and fair co-parenting is the best place to start with this.