As parents who are going through a divorce, one of the best things you can do is work on how you can be a better co-parent. It is difficult to raise a child when both parents are in the same home, but when you are in separate homes, have different rules and have different expectations, your children may struggle.
Co-parents work together on major decisions, but they also take care of day-to-day issues that their children deal with.
Some of the common decisions co-parents have to make include decisions on:
- Medical care
- Religious upbringing
… and others.
How can you be a better co-parent?
There are three things that you can do to be a better co-parent. These include communicating, being willing to compromise and actively listening.
The first thing you can focus on is communicating better. Good co-parents are respectful, communicate directly with one another and do their best to be reasonable.
Being willing to compromise
There will be times when your parenting plan or custody arrangements need minor adjustments. This will work out better if you are flexible. Be willing to compromise when unexpected events occur or your child wants to do something special.
Active listening is a practiced skill. It requires you to fully listen and repeat back what the other person says before saying what you think. This helps the other person feel heard, and it also means that you will be able to understand completely what they are trying to say before you argue against it.
Being a good co-parent takes time and practice. However, if you are willing to communicate, compromise and actively listen to your ex-spouse and your children, then you will be in a better position as you both raise your children together.
What should you do if co-parenting isn’t working for you?
If you are having consistent issues with co-parenting, you may want to have a discussion with your attorney or legal team. There may be steps that you can take to adjust your parenting plan or custody arrangements, so that there are fewer arguments or disputes in the future.