When the parents of a child decide to end their relationship, the first thought that pops into their brains is how the separation is going to affect the children. That’s the point when any good parent starts seeking out co-parenting advice. No matter what your specific situation looks like, the number one job that is expected of parents is to make sure that the children are very happy, stable, healthy, and balanced in their life. However, through the divorce/separation process, the couple usually feels conflict and strong emotions, which can sometimes take a hit on the children. It is hard for individuals who are getting divorced, not to feel the pain and anger from the separation, and that makes it hard to keep a healthy and stress-free environment for the children. The best thing to do is to take the time to be patient through the process, and make sure to proper feel the emotions without making it turn into a huge fight. My co-parenting advice provides parents with several steps that will ensure a healthy, positive, and structured co-parenting process.
When each parent takes the time to identify with the emotions they are feeling, it helps them to feel those feelings instead of hiding it away, which causes more stress. Letting yourself feel the emotions as a family, will help build a stronger, and a more professional, relationship into co-parenting. This means that it is important to value the other parents point of view, and it is one of the most important aspects of the entire co-parenting process. Always do this as parents, always value what the opinion of the other parent has to say and take the time to process their opinion to see if maybe there is some good reason as to why they have this opinion. The anger of the separation can cause for the parents to immediately disagree with the other, however, this just causes fighting and allows for even more negative emotions to enter into the co-parenting that the both of you are trying to accomplish.
As parents, it is important to make sure that the children express the way they feel throughout the divorce process as well. Acknowledging the emotions that the children have and letting them know that it is good to express how they feel, and to show them that both parents are there for them and support them, is what will keep the children at ease that both parents are working hard together to make sure that they are well taken care of and loved. This also means that it is important to make sure that the parents never say anything negative to their children about the other parent. Both parents need to respect the relationship that the kids have with the other parent, and to make sure that the kids know that there is plenty of respect between them both. Instead of communicating with the other parent during “drop-off” and “pick-up” times, make the time to schedule a meeting with the other parent, and this will ensure that the communication between both sides is kept clear and professional. Conflict takes up too much time and energy, and this time and energy can be spent with the children, so always keep it professional. Although it is important to feel your emotions, if you are having a difficult time, it is probably best that you try to fake through for the kids until you can get your emotions and feelings under control.
In conclusion, when you co-parent in a positive way, it makes life much easier for the children who are involved. Even though divorce is hard, it is important to make sure that as you face it and you overcome some of the hard emotions, make sure to take the time to celebrate it. Letting yourself know that, as a parent, you are able to get passed the emotional divorce, as well as keeping your children happy, then you will be able to believe that you can co-parent successfully. Co-parenting isn’t always going to be easy, however, it is up to you to make sure that you are focusing on keeping your children safe, healthy, and happy and those are the most important goals to progress to when it comes to co-parenting.
Please share your co-parenting advice with the Yellowbrick community.
— By Portia Thomas; Co-Parenting expert and mother of 3 beautiful boys