Here's a little advice if you are new to co-parenting from someone who's doing it...
Co-parenting is when you have split up with your partner and together you are jointly parenting your child.
Of course shared parenting is not easy and it takes a lot of patience and communication on both you and your ex’s part, so to help you both in this minefield we have listed a few ideas for dos and don’ts on co-parenting.
- Do communicate with each other- Whether it be via text, email, phone calls or face to face it is imperative you talk to each other about your child. Sharing the information about your kid’s development will benefit you all, and no matter how silly small things do seem you really must inform your ex of any changes or things going on in your child’s life.
- Be consistent together- If there are a set of rules in your home and boundaries, you must ensure your ex up holds those in their home to avoid conflicts. Children are very clever and can easily play you and your partner off each other and cause literally chaos while you two bicker and battle it out. Avoid this by having a set of rules and routine in both homes and therefore there will be no echoes of “he said” and “she said”.
- Be positive- It doesn’t matter if you think your ex is the laziest person in the world and wouldn’t lift a finger to help you when you were together. Your child doesn’t need to hear this nor is it of any benefit to you, things happen and you must move on positively. Don’t belittle your ex and respect each other as parents and this will pave the way for a harmonious relationship now and in the future.
- Don’t try to sabotage their relationship- Avoid getting jealous because your ex has more money and therefore can bring your kid to cool places, while you nag to your child about the boring things like homework. Be supportive of their relationship and though your kid might moan about visiting your ex for a weekend encourage them to go and tell them their Dad will be disappointed if they don’t go.
- Don’t condemn your ex if they get a new partner- At some stage your ex will meet someone and after a while this new partner may meet your child and while you may be worried try not to condemn the new relationship. Definitely have a natter with your ex about partners and making sure that your child meets someone they think is in it for the long haul so not to confuse your child.
- Don’t forget you have a child together so you have to get along- No child wants parents that cannot be in the same room together without arguing so be sure to do everything you can to be on friendly terms with your ex. Momentous occasions will come and go in the future, ones that will need to be shared together so work together to co-parent positively now and in the future.
What matters most is that you raise a happy child that feels loved and cared for and together you can achieve that but you both need to agree that your kid is the priority and forget any conflicts you may have had in the past. Look forward to the future as having a child together bonds you for life and there is no getting away from that, so be the best parent you can.
Trust me, I know it's hard... I'm living it.
Submitted by a Family Friendly HQ reader x