Being a parent is the most demanding, most rewarding, and most important job in the world. We get very little, if any, training for the position. Ideally, there are two parents working together to help carry the load. Even when the parents live in the same house it is exhausting and difficult.
Things get even more challenging when there is a divorce or separation. Now parents are faced with trying to successfully raise children while living apart. After finally completing the painful process of getting a divorce or separation, the trials of co-parenting begin.
You must now trust that the welfare of your children is being taken care of somewhere else. That can be scary. However, if you and your ex work together, research shows that your children, now taken care of in a co-parenting situation, can grow in many positive ways. According to Allison Pescosolido successfully co-parenting will be easier if you follow some simple guidelines:
Continue the positive discipline procedures you used before the family split. Reward the children for good behavior, and issue appropriate consequences for poor behavior or disobedience. For instance, if one parent takes away a privilege (such as no cell phone for three days) the other parent should support that decision. This will involve communication between the parents.
In both homes, as much as possible, keep the routines and schedules for the children the same as they were before the separation.
Divorce is never easy. If you need help, get it. It is crucial to your well being and to your relationship with your children.