A Guide To Co-Parenting : After falling out with a partner, sometimes all you want to do is cut back on or cut out contact with them altogether. When you are both parents to the same child or children that need both of you in their lives, it’s not so easy. Co-parenting refers to parents, usually former partners, raising kids together and sharing the responsibility despite not being in a traditional romantic relationship with one another.
Most often it occurs when parents get a divorce and agree to co-operate and share the duty of bringing up the children.
Finding a way to co-parent with a person you would rather not be in contact with can be challenging, but it is worthwhile for your kids’ sake. The separation will undoubtedly be stressful for your kids, however, if they feel supported and have a lasting caring relationship with both parents they will adapt to these changes more quickly and easily. To help you through these tough times using a parenting support service such as Nutricia Careline can make the experience a little easier for all involved.
Let’s take a closer look at the best ways to go about co-parenting and how you can make it work for your family.
Keep Children’s Well-being A Top Priority
When a relationship has ended, it’s not going to be easy to make parenting arrangements. Whatever the situation is, you should both put your differences and unresolved issues aside and think about the situation from the perspective of your kids and what’s best for them.
Accept the reality of needing to make compromises and when you do make them, keep your children’s well-being as your top priority. The longer the conflict exists the more of a negative effect it will have on your children, so the sooner you figure out a solution the better it is for their emotional and mental well-being.
Make A Parenting Plan
For co-parenting to work, you’ll need to create a parenting plan. This is an agreement made between partners without going through the court. If you want a legally binding document, create a written consent order which is enforceable by the courts.
Elements of a parenting plan should include a visitation schedule including what will occur during special events like birthdays or holidays. It should also address who will provide financial care, medical care and education and how it will be provided and shared. There should be instructions on how to make a decision about the child and/or children together, as well as back up care arrangements for emergencies. The plan should also discuss what will happen if one party is not respecting the plan as well as what will happen if one party wants to make changes to the parenting plan.
When creating the plan, focus on the best possible outcome for your children. Though it can be hard, try to find the silver lining in this situation. This just might be the perfect opportunity, to demonstrate to your kids, that a separate, but non-conflicting relationship is better than a committed, but unhappy one.
Tips For Successful Co-Parenting
Every relationship is different and you will have to find your own way of dealing with the break-up. By staying positive when talking about or referring to your ex-partner, your children will respect you more. You should allow your partner some flexibility and tardiness, as you will probably need it sometime too. Try your best to plan ahead for events and keep in mind that for some events your child will want both their parents present. Try to get past your differences and accommodate that wish for your child’s sake.
When it comes to day-to-day things, you’ll definitely both have to agree on the same rules and boundaries. Children need consistency so it’s best if children have the same rules and routines in both homes. You should always keep your partner updated about what’s happening in their lives as your children will benefit from both parents being informed. This will make them feel that you are both involved and both care. It’s a good idea to allow for boredom in your child’s routine too. With all the changes happening, a bit of boredom can be good for kids and give them some much-needed time to process everything.
Ex-Partner, But Never An Ex-Parent
Relationships come and go, but once you are a parent, you’re connected for a lifetime. Your children will need you during this period of change more than ever. Show them you love them, tell them they are not the ones to blame and show them that you will both continue to be their loving caring parents. With successful co-parenting, and a positive approach they are just as likely to grow up and flourish the same as any other children.
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