Best Co-parenting Advice
We can all assume that parenting apart is never going to be easy so we offer some co-parenting advice.
If you’ve been through a divorce or separation, you know how hard this can be on your entire family.
It doesn’t matter what series of events led you here, it’s important for the health of your children to keep things positive. And try to work together to ensure that everybody can be healthy, happy, and thriving.
Co-parenting takes a lot of work, but it is possible to have a positive relationship even after a separation.
Here are 8 positive pieces of co-parenting advice to help you make the best of a difficult situation.
8 Useful Pieces Of Co-parenting Advice
1. Don’t Talk Negatively About The Other Parent
When it comes to positive co-parenting advice, this one’s worth mentioning first because it can truly make or break your relationship.
Sometimes it’s hard to put your personal feelings and disagreements aside especially if you’ve been hurt. We know it’s not always easy to speak kindly of the other person.
You certainly don’t have to pretend you and your co-parent are best friends, but it’s never okay to bad-mouth the other parent.
Remember to put your children’s best interests before your own.
2. Communicate Clearly
Communication is key is our second piece of co-parenting advice.
This is true in any relationship but vital for a positive outcome where you are parenting from different homes.
Find what works for you and your ex-partner in order to develop the best system. For example, if your child has a commitment coming up, make sure the other parent knows about it.
And if something comes up that you have to change your schedule, let the other parent know as soon as you find out.
Communicating clearly and early allows both parties the best chance to find a good solution that works for everybody. Including the child/ren.
A lack of communication can sometimes feel like a slight to the other person, so being clear is the kindest thing you can do.
3. Stick To The Same Rules
In order for your children to have a fair relationship with both parents, having the same set of rules is imperative.
You may have different parenting styles so not every single rule has to be the same. At least be consistent on the big ones such as technology usage, rules for spending time with friends and expected behaviors.
Don’t try to earn points by being the fun parent and making the other parent be the disciplinarian.
Some great co-parenting advice is to set the rules together. Then let your kids know that you’ve both agreed and will be communicating frequently with the other parent.
4. Have a Set Routine
It’s important to have a routine and schedule for when your kids will be spending time at each household. With this said it’s also important to allow for when things might need to change.
For example, if your kids miss one week with your co-parent, when will they get to make up that time? What will your schedule look like in the summer?
Our co-parenting advice is that your children will be able to adjust better if they know what to expect.
So while it’s also important to stay flexible, having a plan in place will help your kids feel more secure.
5. Be Mindful Of Who You Involve
How to navigate new relationships is another difficult piece of co-parenting advice.
At some point, one of you may start dating again and it’s important to be mindful of how this will affect your kids and the other parent.
A general rule is to not introduce your kids to someone you date without discussing it with the other parent first.
It’s not ideal if your kids to become attached to someone unless everyone is aware of the situation.
Be mindful of how the other parent may feel with a relative stranger being involved in your kids lives.
6. Be Consistent And Set Boundaries
There are so many what-ifs with shared custody and boundaries are your best defense against them.
Continue to be consistent with enforcing the rules is our co-parenting advice here.
It’s a good idea to sit down as a whole family every once in a while to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Even though it may not be comfortable, sitting down with your kids and your ex to set boundaries is a great way to make your kids feel safe and secure.
7. Focus On The Positives
No matter how you feel about the co-parenting situation it’s healthy to focus on the positives.
Even if you don’t feel particularly hopeful yourself, remind your kids that things will get easier and they will adjust over time.
Assure them that you’re always there to listen if they’re struggling with the situation.
Another helpful piece of co-parenting advice is to remind them how much you both love them.
Focus on the positive aspects of this new life and be sure to speak well of the other parent.
8. Ask For Help Or Support
Support and help can look different for many people but don’t feel like you have to do this on your own.
When things are hard, find a trusted friend or family member to vent to and try to get some co-parenting advice.
Finding a support group with other parents in your similar situation is also a great way of getting help.
Keeping things positive in front of the kids means you’re bound to have some pent up feelings.
So, instead of letting them fester, find a healthy way to deal with the stress and anxiety. It will make navigating this co-parenting situation easier for you and everyone involved.
Always find a way to ask for help when you need it.
When a relationship breaks down everybody is hurt and confused and trying to find solutions.
We hope that our co-parenting advice can give you some ideas to allow everyone involved have a good outcome.
Remember to keep the other parent and kids in mind when making any decisions.
If you would like more parenting advice like this try another of our awesome articles.
Amy Williams is an English teacher and freelance writer who is passionate about helping others find joy on their journey through motherhood. She is the mama of a beautiful two year old daughter and the step-mama of an incredible eight year old boy. When she isn’t chasing after her little girl, she loves drinking coffee, baking, and getting lost in a good book