Co-parenting may go smoothly or prove challenging, depending on the nature of the divorced parents’ relationship. An amicable relationship may lead to the highest of highs as parents watch their children blossom and grow. However, a deep and festering crevice between the parents may have long-lasting effects on their children’s psychological and emotional health.
The key for each parent is not forgetting who remains the priority. And that is the children. Parents must not use the children as pawns by placing their own individual interests above anyone else’s. When it comes to co-parenting, they must find a mature way to set aside their differences.
Reality, strengths and the children
How may divorced parents achieve a workable co-parenting plan? By agreeing on specific rules and accepting reality. Critical elements may include the willingness to be flexible, recognizing the strengths and importance of the other parent, accepting and following predetermined schedules and avoiding the manipulation of the children.
But the key element is agreeing on what is important for the children, and that includes many areas ranging from education and discipline to health matters.
Communicate and avoid grudges
In co-parenting, communication is essential and cannot be one-sided. The latter may happen after the lines of communication erode and are even cut off by one parent who seeks to have the upper hand in parenting matters. Such a situation keeps the other parent in the dark on parenting matters.
It is not uncommon for a vindictive parent to not return phone calls, texts or emails from the other parent. Even resorting to keeping the voicemail box full so the other parent is unable to leave a message. Avoid doing this.
Clinging to the past, holding grudges — some based on real or imagined events – will become obstacles to successful co-parenting. Such feelings and behavior may ensure that the toxicity in your relationship spreads, potentially affecting your children. This is not a good thing to do.
Which direction do you want to take?
In many situations related to co-parenting, you may have to take the high road and compartmentalize your anger while raising children who already may have seen enough drama between their parents. It is your choice as to which direction to take. The decision should be an easy one as long as you focus on the health and well-being of your children.