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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    What are some effective ways to co-parent with an ex-partner?

    When couples decide to separate, it can be difficult to temporarily share the responsibility of parenting. Parents need to focus on the welfare of their children in these circumstances and make sure their co-parenting relationship remains healthy for the sake of the children. Despite the former partner being out of the picture, it is supposed to be a time where both parents unite in their love for their children. So, what are some effective ways to co-parent with an ex-partner?

    First of all, maintaining communication is essential for a successful co-parenting relationship. Divorced couples should make use of modern technology such as email and text messaging and communicate openly and honestly. Meetings or conversations should always be conducted in front of the children, or without their presence if both parties agree. It helps the kids to see two mature adults, who were once married to each other, remaining civil. Both parents should agree on how they are going to handle disagreements that involve their kids. This gives the children peace of mind and a greater sense of security knowing their parents will come to a compromise.

    Further, it’s important to keep in mind that both parents still have an equal say when it comes to parenting their children. When divorced couples make joint decisions about their kids, it shows them that even though their parents’ marriage isn't the same anymore, it doesn’t affect their parents’ ability to cooperate and come to agreements. This is especially important for older children, who are more sensitive to their parents’ behavior.

    It's also important to ensure that both parents are involved in their kids’ lives. Each parent should encourage their children to be in touch with their other parent. Whenever possible, both parents should take part in activities that involve their children, such as planting a garden, attending music lessons, or simply going on family outings. Likewise, parents should always be aware of everyday events in their children's lives; like birthdays, school meetings, sporting events or any other activity or special occasions. Sharing in the small and large moments of parenting is vital in creating a strong bond that calls for being both civilized and cooperative.

    Parents should also strive to create a level of consistency between their two households, in order to give a sense of balance and familiarity to their children. It could be comforting for children to observe similar bedtime routines or discipline techniques practised by both parents. This doesn’t mean both households have to be exactly the same, but implementing a common set of rituals at each household can be beneficial for the children. In addition, parents should refrain from saying negative things about each other in front of their children. Doing so can only perpetuate the stress and confusion kids may already be feeling due to their parents’ divorce.

    Divorced parents should consider taking a co-parenting class. These classes can provide parents with important information about successful co-parenting, from working with each other to dealing with different parenting styles, communication techniques and conflict resolution skills. This can be beneficial for both parents in the long run, as well as the children, as there will be greater understanding of expectations and an avenue to seek assistance if needed.

    It can be difficult to co-parent with an ex-partner after a divorce. Clear communication, open-mindedness and an effort to keep lines of communication open can make a positive difference to the co-parenting relationship. Admirably, when both parents remain focused on the needs of their children, it can bring both parties closer together than when they were married.

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