Four Healthy Ways to Co-Parent

When you get divorced or separated from the other parent of your child, your former spouse/partner will remain in your child’s life. Having two households may be difficult to adjust to at first, but what we here at the Bliss Law Group have found is that the transition becomes easier on parents and children alike if there is a healthy co-parenting dynamic from the get-go. Here are four suggestions to help you effectively co-parent after your divorce.

1) Positivity, positivity, positivity.

Having two people raising children separately but together might seem like a paradox at first. But it has been shown that children who have both parents engaged with them tend to be happier and better balanced, and it’s not necessarily the “married” part that makes it so. Overall, it’s beneficial for your child to have interaction with both of you. This means that you need to stay positive about your present situation, and encourage your child to have a relationship with his or her other parent.

When you stay positive, you will encourage both your child and your former spouse/partner to take the same approach. Your positive energy could very well be the key ingredient to your child’s attitude about the changes, and it may even send the message to your former spouse/partner that you are ready to move on and leave the past behind you. It’s a win-win!

2) Put the past in the past.

Whatever happened between you and your former spouse/partner is in the past, and it should stay there. You’re entering a new phase of life. You both are tied together as co-parents, and your ability to perform this job will greatly impact your child’s happiness and ability to adjust.

Instead of thinking of them as your “ex,” think of him or her as your co-worker. You both have a job that needs to be done. Your goals are more or less the same

 and, while your methods may be different, you both want the same outcome.

Goals are a very unifying commonality, so do your best to remove any negative emotions or feelings that you may have about them. Embrace the idea that you both are now working toward the same goal—healthy co-parenting and healthy children.

3) Communication is key.

It can be challenging to have calm, unemotional conversations, especially if your divorce or separation was acrimonious. However, your ability to keep your cool and communicate will help foster your new relationship as a co-parent. Clearly and unemotionally communicating offers several benefits. When you pass on the necessary facts to keep them in the loop as a co-parent, you:

  1. Allow your child to have both parents in his or her life, which has been shown to be extremely beneficial for the development of well-balanced children.
  2. Show your former spouse/partner that you care enough about your child that you can keep the past in the past. This encourages them to do the same.
  3. Set the tone for your future as co-parents. You both will always be parents, so you might as well decide to be divorced parents who know how to get along.
  4. Create an open environment. When you share important information, it shows your child and your former spouse/partner that you’re not interested in playing games or hiding anything. You project an image of openness and honesty.

4) Remember, quality over quantity.

The simple truth is that you may never feel like you get to spend enough time with your child. In order to make the most of the time you do spend together, remember that you want quality time over a larger quantity of time. Make sure to really connect with your child when you are together.

Talk to your child and truly listen to his or her answers. All that matters is that you pay attention to your child and show how much you care. Your attention shows that you’re there for them, no matter what.

To make sure you appropriately communicate this, turn off electronics and silence your phone, for example. Technology can sometimes prevent us from having meaningful interactions with our loved ones. Make direct eye contact when you’re speaking, and encourage your child to do the same. Do your best to show your child the love you feel and respect that, just like you, they are also going through a really rough time right now.

Here at Bliss Law Group, we hope these suggestions help you find success in your new role as a co-parent. If you need help with any family law issue you may have, we’re here for you. We care about the happiness and success of you and your family. To reach us, call 253-844-4412 today!

Written by Bliss Law Group