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5 tips for working together as co-parents

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Family Law

Co-parents often have challenging relationships because they have to work as a team even after their romantic relationship ends, and that is far easier said than done. As such, having some basic guidelines for making the situation work can be helpful.

There are several things co-parents can do that may help to keep their situation as low-stress as possible. The following tips can potentially provide a foundation for a healthier relationship moving forward.

Leave the past alone

One of the most critical steps in effective co-parenting is leaving past conflicts and issues behind. Dwelling on the reasons behind the separation only hinders the ability to focus on the children’s present and future well-being. Embracing a teamwork mindset allows co-parents to concentrate on making decisions that best support their children’s needs and development rather than getting caught in a cycle of blame and resentment.

Compromise when possible

Compromise is a cornerstone of any successful co-parenting relationship. If you co-parent with your ex, you won’t always agree on every decision or parenting style. Finding a middle ground and being willing to give a little can go a long way in maintaining a harmonious co-parenting arrangement. By focusing on your children’s best interests, you can navigate disagreements.

Communicate respectfully

Effective communication is vital in co-parenting. This means sharing necessary information about your children’s lives but doing so respectfully and considerately. Practicing active listening can also improve communication by ensuring both parents feel heard and understood. Remember, the goal is to build a partnership that benefits your children.

Avoid badmouthing

Speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your children can harm their emotional well-being. Maintaining a neutral or positive tone when discussing the other parent with your children is crucial. This approach prevents children from feeling caught in the middle or having to choose sides. If you need to vent or express frustrations, seek support from friends, family or a professional away from your children’s ears.

Follow the family’s parenting plan

A well-crafted parenting plan can serve as a roadmap for successful co-parenting. It can outline agreed-upon (or otherwise ordered) guidelines, schedules and how decisions will be made regarding the kids. Adhering to this plan can provide consistency and stability for children and minimize the potential for conflicts between co-parents.