Co-parenting Tips To Make Your Life Easier




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Co-parenting is a common challenge for single parents.Though it's great for your child to have both parents involved in their life, it may be a struggle for you. Getting past your issues with your child’s other parent enough to raise your child isn’t easy. Even the toughest single parents may find it difficult, but it can be done though.
 
Though a divorce or split can affect your child, conflicts between parents can be the most harmful. Your relationship with their other parent will lay the groundwork for how your child relates to themselves and others. They also need consistency and structure in order to have a sense of security. So regardless of your issues with your ex, it’s important to set them aside when it comes to parenting your child.
 
Before you can work on your co-parenting relationship, though, you need to identify the problem. Here are 10 issues that co-parents tend to run into:
  1. Differing rules, routines, and/or parenting styles
  2. One parent is unreliable or inconsistent
  3. One or both parents speak negatively about the other to their children
  4. Unresolved relationship issues
  5. Determining who pays for expenses
  6. An interfering family or new significant other
  7. Distance
  8. One parent undermines the other
  9. One parent is unwilling to compromise
  10. Competitiveness between parents
 
You’re probably dealing with one or more of these issues, but they are perfectly normal and can be overcome. The best way to handle them will depend on your situation, but here are some ideas to try:
 
  • Take the time to sit down and have a conversation with the other parent. Try to keep the conversation cordial and focused on your child. See if you can come to an agreement that both of you are comfortable with. This will probably mean that both of you need to compromise. To make this easier, try giving in to requests that you don’t feel as strongly about and ask them to do the same.
  • If it isn’t possible to have this conversation calmly, have it through email. Phone calls and text messages aren’t advised because they can get just as heated as a face to face conversation. However, if email conversations can’t remain calm, seek out a mediator or co-parenting counselor. These professionals are trained to help co-parents communicate more effectively.
  • Use a co-parenting app like Kidganizer to help track and share schedules and expenses.
  • Keep your child out of your issues with their other parent. Avoid speaking negatively about them to or around your child handle the co-parenting issues privately.
  • Keep past issues out of it. Regardless of how ugly the breakup was, put the well-being of your child before any animosity you may have toward each other. Use the suggestions above to minimize contact if you need to.
  • Find healthy ways to manage your emotions. Properly dealing with them will help you decrease some of the resentment, anger, and pain you may have and make it easier to work with the other parent.
  • Avoid arguing and retaliation. When emotions start running high, step away from the situation and either revisit at a better time or bring in help.
  • If you suspect that abuse has occurred, seek help immediately. You will be advised to limit your child’s contact with the other parent while the claim is being investigated. Try to help your child keep as calm as possible during this situation, as they may have a hard time understanding.
 
These methods are designed to de-escalate conflicts. The most important thing is that you and your child’s other parent get on the same page or find a way to communicate with a minimal amount of contact. These suggestions are also designed to help you work out your issues with each other outside of court, which is best for your child.




By Alecia Stanton of Single Parents Alliance of America
Find more Articles, Resources, and Benefits for Parents at SPAOA.org.



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