Ask any parent and he/she will tell you that parenting is the hardest job the world. It’s also the most rewarding job at times, but there is not doubt that it’s not easy. So you can imagine, or you know, how tough it can be if you’re not with your husband or wife anymore. A divorce or separation is a challenging process and just when you think the hard part is over… co-parenting starts. You may begin to worry about your children in ways you haven’t before if they’re not under your roof. The good news is that research has shown that despite the potential negative effects of divorce on children, there are many positive ways children can grow from successful co-parenting– and that’s the goal. It’s ok to have a different style of parenting that your ex, but there are some key co-parenting elements that will help you be successful. Relationship coach Allison Pescosolido shares the following co-parenting tips:
- Rewards and Consequences: You’re a single parent now and that’s new to you. Continue to reward your children for the good, and provide consequences for the bad. Tell your ex what you’re doing and get him/her involved if necessary. If they’re grounded with you, they should be grounded with your ex and visa versa.
- Maintain consistency: Set routines and keep the same schedules your children had before. Try to be consistent with your ex and stay on the same page in as many areas as possible.
- Share parenting: Whether you have completely different styles of parenting or if you act exactly alike, it’s important for you and your ex to communicate that. Discuss how each other is parenting to better understand what your children are going through and how to co-parent with a balance.
- Educate yourself: It’s important to learn about your child’s development stages, how to have important conversations, the effects of divorce and co-parenting, etc. There is a lot of information available regarding divorce, parenting, etc. and it’s important to understand what your child may be dealing with.
- Reframe divorce: Have a grasp on what you believe about divorce and why you have those thoughts. Know what feelings are causing those thoughts and reassess divorce given your current circumstances. If your thoughts toward divorce are negative, get help to rethink about those matters that are crucial to your well-being and how your children view the situation with their parents.