Committing to open communication, being positive, making consistent parenting decisions, and avoiding negativity around children is essential for successful co-parenting. These habits help provide children with a happy and balanced upbringing.
Successful co-parenting requires having an organized communication system that facilitates dialogue between the co-parents. Children should never be used as messengers.
With a child not spending all of his or her time with one parent, it can be difficult for parents to pick up on issues that require attention. Parents should be able to communicate issues promptly and directly with each other to assist with adapting to new needs.
When co-parents communicate with each other courteously and professionally, children can learn to follow suit.
A parent should aim at highlighting the positives and keeping his or her words concerning the other parent respectful in front of the children. An excellent way to achieve this is by dropping some compliments about an ex in the children’s presence, for example, “Dad always takes great photos.”
When parents show a child that they can still see the positive things that their co-parents bring to the family, it helps create a safe and stable environment where the child can thrive. Additionally, it also improves the emotional and mental health of the parents.
On the Same Page
It is normal for parents to have different parenting styles and rules. Nevertheless, parents should seek to create a consistent family experience for their children across the two homes. That calls for being transparent and trying to be on the same page as much as possible, especially in big decisions such as medical care, religious upbringing, and schooling.
If co-parents have problems maintaining consistency or agreeing over major decisions, co-parenting mediation or counseling can help.
Keeping Negativity Away From Children
Parents should avoid engaging in name-calling, badmouthing, or making sarcastic or negative remarks about the other parent in front of the children. Even if the children are in a different room, parents should not assume that they are not listening. Co-parents are the central figures in the lives of the children, so it is only natural for them to want to know what their parents are saying.
Parents should also avoid acting negatively toward the other parent. Whether the children usually transition from one home to another or stay in the same house under a nesting custody arrangement, parents should make exchanges happy and pleasant.
Exposing children to an adult’s negative feelings can cause them emotional distress.
Preventing Mistakes From Derailing Co-Parenting Efforts
Miscommunications, mistakes, and disagreements are bound to occur in any parenting relationship. They can easily derail positive co-parenting efforts and make parents focus on the mistakes rather than seeking solutions. Eventually, they hurt communication as well as the happiness and well-being of those involved.
Children are more likely to be emotionally resilient and healthy if the adults involved in their lives create a collaborative co-parenting environment. Despite the inevitable challenges along the road, co-parents should make all their decisions with the children’s well-being as the number one consideration. That way, they will stick to their parenting plans in their children’s best interests.