For some the defining characteristic of a good co-parenting plan is empathy.
Others find they really have to focus on being patient. But there are
those who would argue that you have to make sure that the lines of communication
are open in order to succeed. All would agree that it’s not an easy
thing to achieve for parenting couples that have already experienced enough
discord to end their marriage in divorce. The truth is that for a truly
successful co-parenting plan, you need all three: patience, empathy and
open communication. It’s asking a lot of couples who called an end
to negotiations on behalf of their own relationship. Placing the sole
focus on the kids is a great way to get started in a positive direction
5 Rules to
Make Co-Parenting Work:
information on co-parenting
or life after divorce, please get in touch with one of the experienced
Arizona divorce lawyers at
Arizona Family Law Attorneys.
- Commit to an Open Dialogue with Your Ex in Regards to Co-parenting: This
can be done through email, text, voicemail, letters or in person depending
upon the situation and which method results in the most cooperative efforts.
If you have a past that makes communication particularly fraught with
danger, consider looking into tools that will assist you in your efforts
to make co-parenting work (i.e. websites for uploading shared schedules,
sharing information pertaining to the children and communicating in order
to avoid direct contact).
- Be Consistent with Rules at Both Households: Children tend to fight routine,
but just as much as they fight it…they need it! Routine and structure
are a major comfort to children; particularly children dealing with the
aftermath of their parents’ divorce. Keep the basics consistent
from household to household: bedtime, chores, mealtime, school work/projects,
etc. When you keep things on a schedule and following the same basic rules,
it provides children with a sense of security from predictability.
- Make a Commitment to Positive Talk in the Home: Agree to make it a rule
(in both households) to talk respectfully about parents (even if negative
talk about your ex is music to your ears).
- Take Time to Be Boring: Kids need time to do the “boring” or
ordinary things with their parents, not just the fun stuff; particularly
with the parents that they see less.
- Reinforce Parenting Strengths: Remind yourself frequently that each of
you have parenting strengths and that every strength is valuable. Recognize
the different traits you and your ex bring to the co-parenting plan and
reinforce this awareness with the children. When you are able to speak
positively about your ex, you teach your children that despite obvious
differences, you can still appreciate positive things about your ex.