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Growing up as children of divorced parents is not easy. Co-parenting post-divorce or separation is a task. It is hard. You think about children first. You also think about what will happen to children, how will it impact them, and how to take care of them. Your children will want to stay with both parents. Hence, co-parenting is a good option to look at. It is also a healthy option. The following article helps to know what is co-parenting, how it helps, and also how to co-parent for the benefit of children of divorced parents.
What Does Co-parenting Mean?
Co-parenting is basically taking an action in the children’s daily lives. This is also the best way to meet the needs of the children. It is also emotionally healthy for the child. Children of divorced parents tend to have a difficult time. Hence, co-parenting helps them to develop close relationships with both parents. Also, the nature of the relationship between both the parents matters. The quality of the relationship also has an impact on the emotional and mental well-being of the child. Keeping the relationship issues aside and coming to parents for co-parenting is not easy.
If you have joint custody of your child then it is harder. You may have many issues with your partner and managing that is not easy. You feel stressed and do not know what to do. At the same time, you feel concerned about your child. Also, deciding on any situation jointly may seem impossible. But, you do it for your child’s sake. You do it for the child’s benefit. Keep your ego and issues aside.
Pros of Co-parenting Children of Divorced Parents
Co-parenting is for the benefit of your child. It is important to know the benefits. Co-parenting has many benefits for children of divorced parents such as:
- It is easier for children to adjust to the divorce and new lifestyle quickly.
- They feel more secure and confident in the love of both parents.
- They also have better self-esteem.
- If both parents have the same set of rules, discipline, and rewards then children also have a structure and learn what they need to do.
- Children of divorced parents learn how to problem-solve. They also learn how to solve problems effectively and peacefully.
- Children also have a positive and healthy example to follow.
- The mental and emotional health of children is better.
How to Make Co-parenting Work for Children of Divorced Parents
Children of divorced parents have a hard time co-parenting. But, the key to being successful is to keep your personal relationship with your partner away from your role as your parent. You need to start thinking of your relationship with your ex-partner as that is a completely new one. You have to look at the well-being of your children. It is not about you or your partner. There are a few tips such as-
- Let go of hurt and anger. Your own emotions must take a back seat to the needs of your children.
- It is hard to do this. But, you can do it cooperatively with your partner. This helps to make the process easier.
- Co-parenting is about the happiness and well-being of children of divorced parents.
- Keeping feelings and behavior separate. It is natural to be angry and hurt. But, you need to be aware of your actions.
- Your feelings should not motivate your actions. You can talk about your feelings with a counselor, friend, or close one.
- Keep your focus mainly on the child in every situation.
- Do not use your kids as a mediator between the both of you. Do not ask them to communicate messages on your behalf to your partner. Interact with your partner directly.
- Keep the issues about your partner to yourself.
- Do not share negative things about your ex with your child.
- Find ways to communicate with your partner. Use a formal tone and make requests.
- Do not use statements. Listen actively. Always keep the talks child-focused.
- Learn to work with your ex as a team.
- There could be a disagreement between both of you but do not let it impact the relationship with your child.
How to Co-parent Children of Divorced Parents
There could be times that your child stays over at your partner’s house. Hence, it is important to keep certain things set for both houses. This helps the child. It also makes things easier to manage as parents. Children of divorced parents can benefit from co-parenting if such things are possible-
- Children of divorced parents benefit from consistency. Keep the rules the same for both the houses. For example, keep their waking and sleeping times the same, and the rules for homework and study also the same. You can also keep the time duration for using the mobile to be the same.
- If certain rules are broken then the same kind of consequences should be done. For example, if they lose watching tv if they do not complete their homework at your ex’s house then it should be the same here.
- The timetable has to be the same at all times. For example, the entire schedule needs to be the same. Do not make changes to the timetable as it can create confusion for your child and partner.
- Work on the medical needs of the child together. Keep each other in the loop. For example, if the child is unwell then inform your partner.
- Take turns to meet the doctor.
- With regards to education, be on the same page with your partner.
- Be polite when you have to attend school meetings or events together.
- Keep a realistic budget for your child. You can also create a joint account and every month save some money.
- Respect your partner in front of your child.
- Try to be flexible if possible.
- Talk to your partner if you disagree. Keep talking till you reach a consensus.
To Sum Up
Co-parenting is not easy. But, divorce is also not easy for children of divorced parents. It is also hard for parents and children. But, if both the parents agree to co-parent then it can benefit your child. It will also help the child to have a healthy picture of their parents. In the longer run, it is good for their overall well-being also. Mental health is also important for every child. Epsychonline has various courses on mental health which you can learn. The topics are interesting and informative. You can enroll in a course on Chronic Pain to know more about it and also learn how to deal with it. Let us go on this journey of learning about our mental well-being!