Tips for Effective Co-Parenting
Divorce can harm everyone involved, especially the children. A report by the Ottawa-based Vanier Institute of the Family found that kids who have lived through an ugly divorce are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, and drop out of school. One strategy that can help reduce the likelihood of these adverse effects in the children is positive co-parenting.
Coparenting or shared-custody is one of the more common outcomes for divorces in which there are children in the family. However, co-parenting comes with its own set of challenges. For this reason, we have assembled the list of our top 3 tips to help ensure your co-parenting experience is a positive and beneficial one for both you and the kids.
1: Be respectful and professional.
The easiest way to ensure that you treat your now ex with respect and in a professional manner is to change the way you see them. Think of them as a colleague from work or a neighbor. If they set a time for you to meet up, respect it as if it were with your co-worker or friend. Doing so will not only help avoid contention but will also prompt a positive atmosphere.
2: Never insult your ex infant of your kids.
It is one of the more challenging tips, but it will make all the difference in the long run. If you need to deal with differences, do so in private. Doing so will help avoid placing the children in a situation where they feel they must side with one parent or the other and risk damaging the relationship with the opposing opinion.
3: Effective communication.
Ineffective communication is one of the leading causes of a breakup, generally speaking. Better communication does not happen overnight now that you are separated. It is recommended that you seek help from a professional, such as a therapist or coach, to ensure that you communicate effectively. The key to knowing if your communication is useful or now is: is the information you are sharing received in the same manner you intended?
It is also worth mentioning that effective communication will avoid the stress placed on the child when they become the messenger between one parent and the other. It also doesn’t have to be face to face, nor on the phone. Effective communication can be done via text message, email, or messenger as well.
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