Co-parenting with the father or the mother of your child is not always a piece of cake, especially after an unpleasant separation or divorce. However, for your child’s welfare, maintaining a peaceful relationship and good communication with your co-parent is essential. Here are some tips for successful co-parenting…
Make use of co-parenting apps
Apps are particularly great for busy co-parents or those for whom communicating with their co-parent is complicated. Using co-parenting apps will allow you to track, in just one place, all the medical appointments, school appointments, birthdays, visits to your parents, when the baby-sitter is coming, as well as all of the expenses related to your child. You can also use the app as a platform to send messages to your co-parent. It’s so useful! And nope, using apps is not lazy parenting.
Regularly share information with your co-parent
If you’re sharing the custody of your child with your co-parent, it’s vital that you share information about your kid with them, and frequently. You don’t have to call them every day, but regular updates are important so that they feel involved when they are not with their child. You’ll be glad when they do the same for you when they have your little darling for the holidays though at the same time it’s not your responsibility to encourage their desire to parent.
2 houses, same rules
Okay, it’s complicated to follow exactly the same rules in two houses, with two different parents who perhaps have partners and children from another relationship. There’s no denying it’s tough, but children need consistency and a stable environment to feel secure. Even though they complain about certain routines, kids need the consistency that they provide. It’s quite confusing to have the right to go to bed at 11 pm or even later with dad, but at 8:30 pm sharp with mum. So, have a little conversation with your co-parent and find an agreement about bedtime, meal times, diet, discipline and time spent playing computer games. And follow these new rules to the letter (at least try).
Don’t show your resentment to your child
After a separation, it’s very common to feel anger or other negative feelings about your ex-partner. However, your child is your top priority. If you ever feel sad or angry, try hard not to display these feelings in front of your child. They need to see their parents happy in order to be happy too. Instead, calmly express your feelings to your co-parent or confide in your friends/family. You don’t have to keep your emotions to yourself. Also, no matter how tempting it might be, never badmouth your ex-partner in front of your child. They love both of you. Don’t be scared to show emotion in front of your child (Alyssa has seen me cry) but try not to show any negative feelings towards their other parent in front of them.
It’s usual after a separation for one of the parents to pack their luggage to go to live somewhere else. If you’re this parent, don’t go too far. Try to stay in the same neighbourhood or city so that your child doesn’t have to spend too much time travelling just to go to see their mum or dad. It’s much better to keep this time for extracurricular activities, seeing their friends, reading or even resting.
Last piece of advice: to co-parent efficiently, treat your co-parent like a colleague. After all, you have a common goal: loving, nurturing and raising a happy child. You need your co-parent to be your partner so that you can share your child’s custody as a grown up. Like two colleagues, work together to ensure that your child’s needs are met and that they grow up in a safe environment.
This is a collaborative post.