Regular parenting in itself is not a an easy task and poses numerous challenges to most parents. Co-parenting (parenting your kids after separation or divorce) is harder still as you have to constantly ensure to be on the same page as someone you may not have the fondest feelings for. As difficult as it might be, it is essential to prioritize your child’s future and development over your qualms with your ex-partner in this situation. Here are some tips that may help you co parent your child effectively.
1. Understanding The Importance Of Healthy Co-Parenting
Healthy co-parenting is vital for your child to be able to have a stable development. Kids need to see responsible adult figures in their formative years to be able to adapt into socially responsible adults themselves. Understanding the importance and necessity of healthy co-parenting is the first step to take before implementing any other parenting strategy.
2. Discussing Schedules And Responsibilities With Your Co-Parent
Ensure that you and your co-parent are on the same page when it comes to what each of your responsibilities are. This means you have to communicate with your co-parent on a regular basis. By making sure there is a clear system in place and leaving no room for miscommunication or confusion, you are ultimately providing your child with an environment she or he can learn to trust.
3. Never Badmouth Your Co-Parent In Your Child’s Presence
The last thing you want your child to be exposed to is you dissing your co-parent. Regardless of what your feelings towards them may be, ensure that you let your child know that both of you respect each other. Talk to your child about each other’s strengths so that he or she does not end up resenting or bearing ill will against either parent.
4. Maintain Consistency At Both Ends
Don’t go easy on your kid hoping that you will be favored as a parent. It’s not a competition and you really shouldn’t give your child the power to play judge of parents. Ensure that consistency is maintained at both ends. If the general rule is “No ice cream without completing homework first”, then don’t bend the rules in hopes of getting your child to be on your side.
5. Never Put Your Child In The Middle Of A Conflict You May Have With Your Co-Parent
Your children are not be placed in the middle of any emotional conflict you may have with your co-parent. Any issue that you may have, should be sorted out professionally. Don’t use your children as tools to find out what’s happening in your co-parent’s lives. Instead, maintain open and honest communication with each other with regular updates so that both parties don’t rely on the child as a source of information.
6. Don’t Fall For Whatever Your Children May Say
It is important to keep in mind that children are capable of using their parents situation to get away with things they don’t like or to bend the rules. Be wary of this and do not always fall for your child’s words. If they begin to complain about the other parent to you, it is essential that you remain neutral without rewarding their behavior. They should eventually realize that they can’t play either one of you in spite of the separation.
7. Don’t Feel Pressured To Be The Fun Parent
Again, remember that you and your co-parent are not competing against each other for your child’s approval. Don’t get caught up in an effort to be the fun parent so much so that you forget healthy parenting. You will not be helping your co-parent or your child if you’re spoiling them with extra money or letting them stay up late.