You keep hearing that co-parenting is important for your children’s future, but how do you know if it will work effectively for you and the other parent?
Today, when nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, co-parenting is the only remaining option to ensure that your children get a relatively “normal” environment to grow up in with both parents present, thereby minimizing any negative effects the divorce can have on children.
As such, it’s clear why co-parenting is being talked about so much.
While it is certainly commendable when parents in the midst of divorce research co-parenting and how it works, we have to say that co-parenting may be difficult for some. A one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist, so not everyone will be able to make co-parenting work as well as others.
Before checking to see whether co-parenting will work well for your specific situation, let’s first briefly go through the great benefits it brings to the table.
After divorce, co-parenting is the next best thing for children.
When parents divorce, children’s lives are turned upside down. However, with co-parenting they get to keep a sense of stability and security with both parents still in their lives.
Assured that they are loved by both parents whom they can rely on, children get accustomed to this new living situation. They still get to bond with both of their parents, they get the structure needed for a successful upbringing, and their family stays a safe zone where they can confidently learn about the world around them.
Successful co-parents set a great example for their children as far as communication and problem-solving skills go.
By watching you effectively communicate with and respect your co-parent, your child will grow up to become more mature with great conflict-resolution skills that will help them navigate various areas of life, both private and professional.
When their parents divorce, children experience uncertainty, stress, anxiety, and even feelings of guilt that they had somehow had something to do with the divorce. And as I’ve mentioned above, children from divorced families are much more likely to develop these and more serious psychological problems than children who lose one of their parents.
Co-parenting helps decrease these possibilities by providing a stable environment for children.
With effective co-parenting, you’re actually setting your children up for success later in life.
Children who know they can rely on both parents develop self-confidence, and feelings of self-worth and security. On top of that, throughout the co-parenting relationship, they’ll pick up communication, problem-solving, organization and various other skills that will come in handy.
Co-parenting will help you start them off with a healthy base on top of which they can easily build further.
You as co-parents could reap some benefits from this arrangement, as well!
Because your child will be living in between two homes, you will finally get some of those much needed parenting breaks. More importantly, you and your co-parent are in this together so you’ll both have moral and emotional support from each other when parenting challenges arise.
Co-parenting is a great idea, as long as you can apply it to your specific situation.
In most situations, however, you’ll only need to answer affirmatively to the following two statements.
If one of the co-parents is still holding grudges, brings up the past or still hasn’t worked through their emotions, they aren’t ready to co-parent. This will only make for a toxic co-parenting relationship which defeats its purpose.
Co-parenting should only be concerned with the present or the near future pertaining to the child. If the other parent keeps bringing up your personal issues, it may be a sign that they aren’t ready to co-parent.
If you recognize yourself or your co-parent in the paragraphs above, you might want to consider co-parenting counseling
Co-parenting is tough so you’ll have to be ready to put in the effort.
With time, it will get easier, but setting it all up with your recently-divorced partner and getting on the same page will be challenging. That being said, get through it and you’ll see that it was all worth it.
If you’ve answered both of the above statements affirmatively, you’re ready to co-parent! Just note that there are some exceptions where effective co-parenting may be practically impossible.
If one of the parents is incarcerated or when one co-parent has a restraining order against the other, it will be practically impossible to co-parent since they won’t be available. Similarly, if one of the parents suffers from an active substance abuse issue, has a history of physical or emotional abuse, or is otherwise incapacitated, co-parenting just might be a bad idea.
FamiliPay lets you plan out your co-parenting relationship in a shared calendar, keep documents, receipts, track the financials, and much more, all in one place. You can even use their messaging intermediary meant to reduce any conflict.
Sounds good? They will let you try it for free for three months!
(*Disclosure: Michael S. Green has an interest in FamilyPay, LLC.)