Written by Feba Maryann
Parenting is never an easy task, dealing with the incessant whining, cries, and the fuss that children display. Co-parenting makes this increasingly onerous with the battles for custody, legal arrangements and splitting time with both parents. Co-parenting requires tremendous amounts of patience, flexibility, empathy and communication.
Identifying the signs of an effective co-parenting relationship is necessary to figure out what you or your co-parent must imbibe in your relationship. Understanding these signs will also further help improve your efforts and focus to set up a healthy growing set up for your child. So, what are the signs of an effective co-parenting relationship?
Mistakes Do Not Impact Your Children or Efforts
By mistakes we mean fights, disagreements or miscommunications between you and your co parent should not affect your co-parenting efforts. In a co-parenting system things get heated up in the blink of an eye and people start pointing fingers, after that point it is only about finding the mistakes, your ex made rather than making an effort to solve the issue at hand.
In a healthy co-parenting system, you and your co-parent are both empathetic and treat mistakes as mistakes and not an opportunity to show who is better. You both understand that the goal here is to raise healthy and happy children rather than competing with your ex to prove that you are the best parent in the universe.
You Communicate Effectively
You have set up a good healthy system for communicating with your co parent. This means children are never used to facilitate communication between you and your co-parent. You keep the responsibilities split evenly between adults.
The disagreements or fights you have with your co-parent are kept away from your children. You and your co-parent are the pillars of your children’s lives, and they look up to you both. Your children may be curious to listen to the conversations you have with your co-parent, so be sure to not fight or create a fuss when the children are around.
You Know Your Priorities
The divorce or separation might have been hard on you, and you may feel torn down on the inside. It is natural for people in these positions to switch their attention to themselves and do things that soothe their pain. But in a healthy co-parent relationship you both focus your attention on your children and constantly work towards keeping them happy, healthy and raising them to be good humans.
No doubt, co-parenting can feel like a pain in the ass but knowing what motivates you and putting your children first, along with sound decisions will be helpful in the long run. Yes, sometimes you may need a break, update your co-parent about the same and get help from your support system.
Respect Is Absolute
Respect is the founding stone of any healthy relationship and parenting after separation is no exception. Respect in a co-parenting relationship lets both co-parents breathe easy and benefits their mental health while creating a healthy environment for the children.
You and your co-parent will have to interact and take numerous responsibilities. Respecting each other’s time, privacy, life and opinion will go a long way. Communicating your plans or thoughts effectively or avoiding any last minute changes are some ways in which you can show that you respect your co-parent. No matter how angry you get, do not bad-mouth your co-parent and absolutely DO NOT swear in front of your children.
You Are a Team
In a healthy co-parenting relationship, you no longer see your co-parent as your former spouse or ex but rather emphasize their role as the parent of your child. Both of you put your egos aside and work as a team for your children.
You both are consistent with what you do and ensure your children follow the same rules at both households. For example, lights out at both households should be around the same time. Your child must think of both households as safe spaces and be comfortable with both coparents.
Co-parenting is a lifetime appointment whether you like it or not. It can be very stressful at times, however, working on healthy communication with your co-parent will reduce the amount of tension you feel.