Co-parenting is happens after a divorce when both parents seek to remain
active and involved in the lives of their children, even though their
family is no longer together as before. Both parents share responsibility
for the children while remaining in separate households.
Benefits of Co-Parenting After Divorce
The adjustment after a divorce can be challenging. Typically in divorce,
each parent immediately becomes a single parent, each caring for the children
separately. Co-parenting agreements ensure that both the parents and the
children do not have to adjust to life as a single person and a single parent.
Co-parenting arrangements allow children to:
Adapt to the divorce better
Have less long-term negative side effects
Feel secure in their family's relationship
Have a model for handling conflict
There may be a little confusion on the parent's relationship, but that
can easily be clear up with regular communication on the matter.
Ways to Consistently Co-Parent Your Children
Consistency in co-parenting is one of the ways that both parents can be
successful in their arrangement. Consistency does not mean that both parents
use the same parenting style, but rather that routines align with one
another. This will help for children know what to expect when they stay
with either parent.
Ways to collaborate include between parents include:
Schedules. Things such as television, meal, and homework time should be decided
on by both parents and stuck to when the child is with them.
Bedtime. Consistent bedtime and curfew can ensure the child is prepared for the
next day in the same way.
Transitions. Drop off and pick up times should remain the same and the children should
know what to expect when going to each parent's house to ease anxiety.
Consequences. It would be unfair for one parent to inflict a harsher punishment than
the other for the same misbehavior.
Rules. Knowing the house rules of the other parent can allow the parent's
to rest when the child is not with them.
Routine. Consistent expectations build self-discipline. Make sure that the child
knows what to expect each day from each parent.
Co-parenting is not easy to do, but for divorced families, it can create
the best scenario for involved children. The children also have a great
model of behavior and conflict-resolution.