27 Jul Co-Parenting: How To Make It Work
We have all seen parents that just don’t know how to make it work. We imagine that, if we are ever in that situation, we won’t let it come to that. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Co-parenting with an ex-spouse (co-parent) can be difficult. Often, the reasons you and your ex-partner split will crop up in parenting-related issues, which can lead to disagreements… and that can go downhill quickly. On the other hand, it’s not impossible. Co-parenting is workable, and can sometimes even be preferable for the child over being raised in a joint household with parents that cannot make it work. By meditating on the following ideals, you will have a better chance of making your co-parenting situation work and decrease your stress and troubles at the same time.
1. Recognize the Kids are first, Regardless of the Relationship Status
This step is number one because it is the most important step there is. Parenting is contingent upon having a child, and if that child is not being put first, then you are not putting parenting first. Make sure you are always thinking of the best interest of your son or daughter regardless of the situation with your co-parent. This can prove particularly challenging when pride or other nasty emotions cloud your judgment or make you want to act in your own interest first. This, however, simply cannot be the case. If you are serious about making your co-parenting situation work, you will take this first rule to heart – simple as that.
2. Keep Lines of Communication Open
An excellent way to start following this rule is to inform your ex about your intention to follow the first rule, and suggest that you both do so. More generally, communication, as is often the case, is key. If you feel like your ex is not considering your son or daughter as the number one priority, you need to be able to communicate this with them. When communication lines are shut down, no changes can be made, and no progress can be achieved. As difficult as it might be to remain in contact with your ex, it is essential that you keep communication lines open with them for the sake of the child.
3. Always Speak Respectfully With Your Ex
This can be especially difficult. There is a good chance you and your ex will disagree on some aspect of parenting, and it can be next to impossible to keep a level head when trying to settle these disagreements. If you hope to keep to the first and second rules, though, you must also follow this one and speak respectfully to your ex. This does not, however, mean you have to forgo your position as a parent either. You can still, and should, assert yourself and make your wishes clear about how you think you and your ex should be raising your child. The key is to do so in a respectful manner. If you actually want to achieve success as co-parents and to convince your ex that your method is correct, the best way to do so is with a respectful and appropriate approach.
This might seem like a bit of repetition, and in a way it is. Part of being “the bigger person” means recognizing the child comes first, keeping communication lines open and speaking respectfully. It also means lots of other things too. Those angry parents that seem to be mishandling their entire co-parenting situation may very well be rightfully disappointed with their co-parent. However, realizing that parenting is difficult and a challenge, particularly if you are co-parenting with an ex. Additionally, if you want your child to act mature and grow up to be a responsible, respectful, and loving person, you have to show them how to do that – even under difficult circumstances.
Parenting alone is not an easy task and having to cooperate with another person, a person you may disagree with on many issues is even more difficult. Following these guidelines, however, will help you and your ex-partner lay a groundwork for a successful co-parenting relationship.