Serving the families of Douglas and Sarpy Counties.
Being Successful with Collaborative Co-Parenting
What is “Collaborative Co-Parenting,” and how does it affect me? If you are raising children with another person, such as your significant other, ex, mother, grandmother, etc., then that’s co-parenting.
At Parent University, our “Collaborative Co-Parenting” course is here to aid you in understanding how to have a healthy and stable relationship where communication is key. Because, remember, what’s at stake is not only your well-being, but your families’ as well. Here are a few points to keep in mind that we look at in depth in our Parent University Course.
1. Show empathy and be flexible.
Co-parenting with your ex may not always be easy. But, at times, try put yourself in other’s shoes to keep a clear mind and work towards the best goal. This includes decisions over visitation and sudden changes. If your ex wants to take the kids to a ball game or the zoo on one of your days, put the kids first. Will they enjoy it? Then, let them go!
This freedom for your children to voice their feelings, and an understanding with your ex that they love their children too, is a step in the right direction for everyone.
2. Communicate directly to avoid unnecessary conflict.
It’s best not to use the kids as go-betweens and get stuck playing a bad game of telephone. Not only may they get the message wrong, they will also witness any negative feelings either parent expresses when delivering or receiving it. If your kids give you a message from their other parent, don’t blow up in front of them, each parent will deal with certain situations differently. Don’t expect everything to be run exactly the same way. Challenging disputes can sometimes best be handled by a call and address the issue as maturely as possible.
3. Remember that you are co-parents now.
You’ve moved on from your marriage for a reason. If they didn’t change when you were a couple, It’s not likely to happening now. Do what you can for yourself, and make the best of your new status as co-parents. Allow them to rebuild his life however they see fit. Counseling can be good way to improve communication. Remember in the long run, the kids should be the winners.
4. Respect their time with your ex.
Whatever you sharing arrangements, don’t put a damper on their time together by calling often. Especially if they are in the middle of something that you know will disrupt their time together. Instead, think of how you would feel if your ex insisted on calling your home at odd hours and made the kids feel bad about you.
Particularly, when you exchange the kids, keep these moments short and sweet. Do your best not to create a scene when they leave. Especially don’t drag it on giving your ex endless instructions. Say your goodbyes with a smile, so the children won’t feel guilty about leaving you by yourself.
5. Encourage your children to communicate, share photos, grades, accomplishments.
As your children grown, their list of accomplishments grows with them, when they get their grades or are having a special moment their parent is missing, take a picture and email it or text it. Tell your children what you are doing, so they know you are including their other parent in the parts of daily life.
Also of importance, is to make sure they call, email or write on a regular basis. Remind them of his birthday and other special occasions, help them make or choose a gift and deliver it. Your kids will be happiest when they feel free to express their feelings of love towards both parents even when they are no longer a family unit living under the same roof.