Co-parenting can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be.
When two parents work together to raise their child, the result is often a happier home life for everyone involved.
However, co-parenting takes some effort and dedication from both parents in order for it to be successful – and unfortunately, it isn’t always easy.
(But if you’re dealing with a toxic or narcissistic ex, then you will probably have to try parallel parenting instead.)
Although there are many dos and don’ts when co-parenting with someone else (such as your ex), there are some things that should always be on your radar so that you can ensure a healthy relationship between all parties involved:
Do Keep the Lines of Communication Open With Your Ex
Keeping the lines of communication open is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a positive co-parenting relationship.
It’s easy to get caught up in your own life and forget that your ex is still an important part of your child’s life, so it’s crucial that both parents keep each other updated on what’s going on with their children and themselves.
When it comes to communicating with each other, honesty is key!
You don’t want any surprises coming from either side because then everyone gets upset and nobody wants that.
If there are issues at school or something else happening with your child, let them know right away so they don’t think something happened when really there wasn’t anything wrong at all (or vice versa).
Do Share Information About Your Child’s Day With Each Other
While you may not be able to share your child’s day with each other, it is important that you keep each other informed about what your children are up to.
For example, if your child has been sick or injured recently, it would be good for both parents to know about this so that they can take appropriate action when needed.
If one parent has more frequent contact with the kids than another parent does, then informing them of events in their lives can help maintain a sense of connectedness between all parties involved.
It also gives you an opportunity to ask questions or talk about what happened during their time spent together, as well as giving them space if they need time alone after seeing their kids again after being separated from them for several days/weeks/months, etc.
Do Work Together to Create a Family Schedule That Works for All of You
You may have heard that having a schedule is important for kids’ development, but it’s also important for co-parenting.
Having a schedule means that you have a plan for each day, and you’re able to communicate with your co-parent about the plans ahead of time.
You can make sure that both parents are on board with what’s happening in terms of activities, meals, and bedtimes (and any other things you might want to include in your family routine).
A good family schedule doesn’t just happen – you have to work together as parents to create one that works well for everyone involved.
Other Co-Parenting Do’s:
- Put your children first: Make your children’s needs the top priority in any decision you make.
- Be flexible: Recognize that schedules can change, and be open to making adjustments to accommodate your co-parent’s schedule or unexpected events.
- Show respect: Be courteous and polite to your co-parent, even if you don’t always agree with them.
- Keep your promises: Follow through on your commitments to your co-parent and your children.
- Keep a positive attitude: Avoid negative comments or behaviors towards your co-parent in front of your children.
- Seek support: Consider seeking support from a therapist, mediator, or support group if you are having difficulty co-parenting.
Don’t Try to Re-Create Past Relationships or the Way Things Once Were
It’s easy to get caught up in old habits and behaviors, but it’s important not to expect your ex-partner to be the same person they were when you were together.
They may have changed since then, as will you!
It can be tempting for parents who are getting divorced or separated in order for one parent to leave the home temporarily and return later on down the road once things have settled down between them again (or even if they haven’t).
However, this rarely works out well because there are usually underlying issues that need resolving first before moving forward into co-parenting mode together again.
And those issues aren’t likely going away anytime soon either way unless both parties are committed fully towards working things out peacefully between themselves first before trying anything else with each other again later on down future roadways
Don’t Use Your Child as an Emotional Support System or as an Excuse Not to Make New Friends
You should also avoid using your child as an excuse not to socialize or as an emotional support system.
As a parent, you have a responsibility to meet other people and form relationships with them.
See if any of their friends’ families would be willing to watch them for an hour or two so that you can get some time away from the house.
The bottom line is that having friends makes life better for everyone involved!
Don’t Forget That You Are Still Individual People and It Is Okay for You to Have Your Own Lives Separate From Raising Children Together!
It is important to remember that you are still individual people, and it is okay for you to have your own lives separate from raising children together!
This can be difficult, as most parents find themselves spending more time with their children than they would otherwise.
Co-parenting is not an excuse to neglect yourself or your current partner. You should still make time for each other outside of parenting duties, even if it’s just going out once a week for dinner or drinks with friends.
It’s also important that each parent maintains his or her own interests and friendships outside of parenting responsibilities.
This way, no one feels like he/she has given up too much of their personal life when becoming involved in co-parenting arrangements with exes who may live far away from them (or even closer but in different cities).
Other Co-Parenting Don’ts:
- Don’t use your children as messengers: Avoid using your children as intermediaries between you and your co-parent.
- Don’t argue in front of your children: Keep disagreements between you and your co-parent private.
- Don’t make unilateral decisions: Discuss major decisions with your co-parent before making them.
- Don’t use your children as leverage: Avoid using your children as a means to get what you want from your co-parent.
- Don’t badmouth your co-parent: Avoid making negative comments about your co-parent in front of your children.
- Don’t be inflexible: Be willing to compromise and make adjustments to accommodate your co-parent’s schedule or needs.
- Don’t give up: Co-parenting can be difficult, but with patience and persistence, you can make it work for you and your children.
Parenting Together Is Difficult, but It Will Be Easier if You Both Commit to Doing So in a Healthy Way
Co-parenting is difficult. It’s hard enough to raise children on your own, but when you have to do it with another person, there are many more factors that can make the experience even harder.
Communication and respect are essential for co-parenting success; if you both commit to doing so in a healthy way, then your chances of having a successful co-parenting relationship will increase significantly.
Don’t forget that you are still individual people, and it is okay for you to have your own lives separate from raising children together!
In the end, parenting is a difficult job, and there are no easy answers. But if you both commit to doing it in a healthy way, then you can make this experience as positive as possible for everyone involved.