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5 Rules to Make Co-Parenting Work

5 Rules to Make Co-Parenting Work

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 post-divorce.

5 Rules to Make Co-Parenting Work:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
For additional 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.

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