Co-parenting is not an easy task. Any family who has gotten through a divorce and is figuring out how to co-parent knows that it is a process that requires patience, flexibility, communication and honesty. While it can be a challenge at times, it is not impossible to co-parent successfully and effectively, even if the parents do not always get along.
In fact, studies have shown that absent extreme family conflict, such as abuse, co-parenting is effective even in high-conflict families. Having said that, it is not a walk in the park, and problems will inevitably pop up occasionally. It is in those moments that parents must remember that:
- It is normal to have mixed emotions about co-parenting.
- It is critical for both parents to prioritize self-care in order to make co-parenting work.
- It is perfectly acceptable to seek help from a family counselor or other professionals if necessary.
- Co-parenting is difficult but worth it for the children due to its benefits.
Remembering these important points can help parents feel supported in their co-parenting journey, especially when it gets hard and there is conflict between the parents.
Keep in mind that conflict can be solved with the right tools, and some divorced parents find solutions by seeking assistance from a mediator.
Understanding that co-parenting is not a race but rather a lifestyle choice and a gift that you give your children and yourselves helps in encouraging parents to keep going.
Benefits for the children
The most important aspect of co-parenting is spending time with the children, being a part of their lives and being there for them, which gives them a sense of security and consistency.
Co-parenting is an effective way of dealing with parenting children after divorce. While it can be difficult at times, it is highly effective and successful in mitigating the negative effects that divorce has on children.