After the end of a marriage, especially when children are involved, the entire family goes through many changes, some of which are challenging, especially for young children. Co-parenting helps alleviate some of the difficult emotions children commonly experience during and after divorce.
While divorce is hard for children, no matter the circumstances, there are ways that parents can work together to ease the process and help the children healthily process their emotions. In addition, there are things that parents should avoid doing so they do not cause additional damage to their children.
Co-parenting is the decision that parents make to work together to continue raising their children, despite the divorce, in many cases motivated by the children’s best interests. Research shows that co-parenting is highly effective in helping children cope with divorce.
Common co-parenting mishaps
Co-parenting is not always easy. In fact, it can be challenging, especially at first. It is, after all, a new way of doing things.
It requires that both parents adopt a collaborative approach to parenting and working with the other parent, which often means compromising and employing emotional tools that can be difficult to use, especially during conflict.
It is critical to at least try to avoid making these common co-parenting mistakes:
- Speaking ill of the other parent
- Being inflexible with the other parent on schedules
- Not communicating in a productive way
- Trying to compete for the child’s affection
Parenting is challenging, and co-parenting adds more difficulty to a complex situation. However, by doing their best, couples can co-parent successfully after their divorce, despite the occasional challenge or mistake.
Remember that no parent is perfect, and the goal in co-parenting is for the parents to be on the same side and have similar and consistent plans for their children that provide stability, meet their physical and emotional needs and try to create a new family unit.