Tips For Co-parenting After A Separation Or Divorce
Lots of parents are now seeking co-parenting as a more practical solution after separation or divorce. This means that no one parent will have major custody of the child or children but both parents will share the parenting. That is easier said than done and there are lots of obstacles.
But let us look at the advantages first. The children will feel that they are still part of the family. Many children are traumatized by what seems to be the disappearance of one of the parents. This new solution gives them a sense of security and of continuity. It will also usher in a calmer period for them as the arguments and tensions will now be a thing of the past.
A number of couples when they get equal custody also manage to share the financial responsibilities and this takes a lot of the pressure off the mother who frequently has to work to support the family.
Some couples work out a system whereby they take the kids for a two week period but children can have two days with the other parent during that time.
I know lots of couples who resolve to turn over a new leaf and to end the conflicts, arguments, and all the other fallout which led up to the divorce. That is such a wise decision because it takes all the toxins out of the atmosphere and the children will be the first to benefit. But also the parents will feel more relaxed and at ease. Certain chapters just have to be closed.
The benefits for the fathers are enormous as they realize just what is involved in parenting. That means they suddenly find they have to organize and make decisions about school, homework, shopping, and eating. That is so much better than just taking the children for a few hours. One useful tip is to make sure that there was more or less the same routine in place for meals and bedtime.
In a recent episode of SOS Nanny, the separated mother phones the father and asks him to do some little job. They immediately start an argument in the presence of the child who has to absorb all the negativity once again.
Another co-parenting tip is to avoid making any negative remarks about the other parent in the presence of the child. The war is over and there is no need to recruit soldiers and allies anymore. The child’s welfare is the first thing to be negotiated in the peace settlement.
There are other issues which have to resolve as well as logistical arrangements which can prove complicated if the homes are far apart. As regards discipline issues, parents have to be very firm that they are going to take the same stance on behavior issues. If not, the child will be confused and soon start to take advantage of the good cop, bad cop parenting situation.
One great way of joint parenting in discipline issues is to have a seamless thread running so that withdrawal of privileges are continued when the kids come to stay with you. The same rule applies to rewards so that the kids get a sense of continuity and security.
Robert Locke has written on parenting and behavior issues for many years. He is also a Diamond level author with Ezine Articles. Visit his blog for more information on child behavior problems.