More On Co-Parenting

Co-Parenting LifeCo Parenting

     In a newly divorced situation parents will now have to adapt their parenting style in a whole new way. Being a single parent will be new for both you and children. Allow each child to adjust in their own time frame. Each child is different and what might come very easily for one could be a major struggle for another. Keep an open dialog at all times to see how they are progressing. Co-parenting with an Ex can be challenging if both parents are not willing to set aside their differences and work for the good of the children. Here are some guidelines for co-existing as single parents:

  • Each household might have different rules which could be an adjustment but as long as they are consistent, children will adapt. Their bedtime at mom’s might be 7:30 and at dad’s 8:00, but as long as that is consistent it will be fine. If however, they eat dinner at 5:00 at dad’s and at 8:00 at mom’s, that is going to be too much of a gap for their little digestive tracks to adjust to. Try to keep as close as possible to their normal routine. If a major change has to occur because of work schedules, etc. try to ease them into it with a minimum amt. of interruptions as possible.
  • As with eating and sleeping routines, discipline should be handled in the same manner. Try your best to be on the same page with your Ex regarding disciplining your child. If both parents are coming from opposite ends of the discipline spectrum, this will be confusing and frustrating for the child and may cause them to act out even more. It also opens the door for ‘divide and conquer’ and kids will play one parent against the other making one or the other ‘the bad guy’.
  • If possible in the beginning, try to minimize the amount of changes outside of their new living conditions. Keep in mind that they are going through the biggest change of their lives. Now is not the time to remove a pet, or change daycares or schools, even if it is out of your way. You are the adults; it will be up to you to make the sacrifices.  As the dust settles over time, then situations can be reassessed without inflicting so much of an interruption in their lives
  • If a new step-parent is in the picture make sure that they are on board with the co-parenting plan. All adults will have to work together and it will be a lot easier for EVERYONE if you can possibly get along. Communication with your Ex. (and possibly new spouse) may be your biggest challenge but it will, in the end, be your biggest asset in co-parenting your children. Learn how to bite your tongue, compromise and/or walk away if needed but in a positive way.

Whatever, the individual circumstances, be observant at all times. Listen to what your children are saying and watch their body language. They may not always have the right words to express how they feel but those feelings will surface somehow.

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Posted in Co-Parenting, Single Parenting

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