Co-Parenting: Strategies to Support Your Child’s Well-Being
June 5th, 2023
Co-parenting after divorce can be challenging — and having positive co-parenting strategies in place is crucial for your child’s well-being. Not only can children feel more secure when they are confident that they have the support of both parents, but they will also have a good example to follow when they see their parents working together. In addition, since similar rules and expectations are established in both households, children can benefit from the consistency co-parenting provides.
Although raising a child with your ex isn’t easy, here are a few co-parenting strategies to keep in mind to ensure the best interests of your children always come first:
Place the Focus on Your Children’s Wellbeing and Happiness
The well-being of your children must be first and foremost when it comes to co-parenting after divorce. Don’t put the children in the middle of any disputes you might have with your ex or ask them to be messengers when they spend time with the other parent. Your children’s happiness, needs, and welfare are paramount and should always be at the forefront of your co-parenting relationship.
Put Aside Your Feelings of Resentment and Anger
One of the most difficult things you might have to do in order to have a positive co-parenting relationship is put aside your resentment and anger toward your ex. Regardless of your feelings toward them, they’re still your children’s other parent and it’s important for your children to maintain that relationship. Remember, co-parenting is about doing what’s best for your children by working cooperatively with the other parent — not allowing your feelings to dictate your behavior and actions.
Make Communication a Priority
One of the most important elements of every successful co-parenting relationship is communication. If you can’t have face-to-face conversations with your ex, it may be best to agree on another form of communication such as text message or email. You might even agree to share information about the children using a co-parenting app. Nevertheless, be sure to keep the lines of communication regarding the children open so that you and your co-parent can be on the same page.
Work to Resolve Conflicts Effectively
Contentiousness between co-parents can have a significant emotional impact on the children. While some level of conflict is to be expected in every co-parenting relationship, it’s important to keep it away from the children. When co-parents are respectful toward each other and can discuss their differences in a healthy manner, they are more likely to feel positive about their relationship. Effective conflict management can also benefit the children — by seeing their parents work together to resolve conflicts, children can learn essential life and communication skills they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Present a Unified Front
Co-parenting is a team effort and it’s essential to present a unified front to your children. Not only can this provide the children with certainty because they will know what is expected of them in both households, but it can also reduce tension in the co-parenting relationship — and prevent it from becoming high-conflict. Creating a unified front can help to avoid situations where one parent may feel undermined by the other and can help to promote “oneness” in the family unit.
Although your parenting plan should specify a regular schedule for the times you and your ex get to spend with the children, it’s important to be flexible. Everyone has very busy lives and you may need to cooperate from time to time if plans change or special events come up. You might also add language to build flexibility into your parenting plan by considering the various issues that could arise.
Take Time Out for Self-Care
To be the best co-parent you can possibly be, it’s critical to take time out for self-care. This can mean taking just a few minutes every day to relax, participate in a hobby, or exercising. In addition to helping you feel less stressed and more balanced, practicing self-care can set a positive example for your children by showing them how important it is for health and happiness.
Seek Professional Support When Necessary
Co-parenting isn’t easy and it may be necessary to seek professional help in some cases. For example, a counselor or therapist can help you process the underlying emotions associated with your divorce. They can also help you learn to adapt to your new family dynamic and circumstances. If you and your ex have difficulty communicating in a healthy manner, a mediator can be useful to help you resolve conflicts and provide you with the communication tools you need to move forward. If conflicts cannot be resolved outside of court or other legal issues arise, a family law attorney can advise you regarding your options and protect your rights.
Contact an Experienced Massachusetts Family Law Attorney
Co-parenting after divorce can be overwhelming. However, having a comprehensive parenting plan in place can help relieve some of the emotional stress. At Krispin Law in Needham, Massachusetts, we are committed to providing our clients with the knowledgeable counsel and skillful representation they need for a wide variety of family law matters, including those involving parenting time and child custody. To learn more about how our law firm can help with your case, we invite you to contact Krispin Law to schedule a consultation by calling (617) 421-9090. We offer both in-person and virtual consultations for your convenience.
Categories: Family Law