We often hear the horror stories about separated parents who just can’t put their own issues aside and focus on the wellbeing and best interests of their children. Unfortunately, in some circumstances after separation, children can be used as pawns in a long running saga of mistrust, disrespect and even hate between the separated parents.
Here are some tips on how to nail co-parenting:
1. Communicate. Don’t expect the other parent to understand what you want without explaining it to them. Be concise, clear and courteous in your communications. On the other hand, listen to what they are asking for and really consider what they are saying before just brushing it off or outright refusing. Always be mindful of what is in the children’s best interests.
2. Compromise. It can’t always be about what you want. There are going to be many occasions throughout your children’s childhood where there is going to have to be some give and take.
3. Don’t fight or argue in front of the children. Remind yourself that these are adult issues and exposure to this could lead to the children experiencing difficulties with far reaching effects including behaviour and emotional issues.
4. Be civil. Sometimes there is merit in being the bigger person. Separated parents don’t have to be the best of friends to effectively co-parent but just behaving in a civil and respectful manner can do wonders to nurture that relationship.
Every parent’s circumstances are different. We recommend parents who are having difficulty with their co-parenting relationship talk to someone about strategies and options that can be helpful in navigating their way through the parenting journey.