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Parents. Undoubtedly the most important and constant part of our whole life since birth. Now, you must have heard that often parents cannot cooperate and that too after the birth of a child. So, what do you think? Who should get the custody of the child in that context? Though the child urges for both of them, he/she hardly gets that option.
A child’s upbringing is always incomplete if that individual has been deprived of any one parent’s love, care, and support. For a healthy upbringing, both mother and father are necessary for the child. Here comes a superb solution that primarily aims at benefitting the child with all means.
Have you ever heard of coparenting? If not, then know it today. It is an extremely crucial and discussed topic in the recent generation and society. Know all about it, and also, how you can become the best co-parent for your child.
What exactly is coparenting?
Coparenting is an arrangement of parenting that is chiefly made after a divorce has occurred between the couple. Since both parents share equal rights of their children, they are provided with the opportunity to love, care for, and support them. Both the parents can together take part in all the needs of the child without staying together under the same roof.
In this arrangement, many interactions are expected between the parents, irrespective of whether they are public or private. Coparenting allows both parents to maintain a strong bond and healthy relationship with their children.
Signs of a healthy and effective coparenting relationship
It is never easy for ex-couples to accept such a situation. But for the sake of the child, it becomes necessary to cope up. Both parents require a tremendous effort to claim that.
For most of the families, surveys conclude that there still needs many changes. We would always suggest you focus on the positive sides, keeping your children’s happiness in mind. On the contrary, put more effort into the steps you are doing well at.
Have clear boundaries
You must make it clear on the very first note how much liberty both of you have over your children. Make a note of what you have been assigned for your children and whatnot.
But one of the most vital things is that you are no one to question your ex’s activities. For instance, you can never ask your ex whether they are dating someone again or not. You don’t have the right to ask that until you have already mentioned it in your custodial agreement.
Furthermore, it is much easier to resolve things together rather than taking all the decisions alone in a courtroom.
Have a predetermined schedule
You must be perfect with what you are scheduled to do for your child. Many parents are frequently seen to face an extremely hectic situation since they had a more casual approach. Having a casual approach is never accepted.
Coparenting is seen to work better when a schedule of the child’s activity has been noted down already. The mutual understanding between both the parents is invariably crucial. Just don’t go on making a schedule on your own without consulting with your co-parent. You must always count on the other parent as well. Also, make sure that both of you are obeying the schedule.
Willing to be flexible
Flexibility is a key factor for the development of a child in a healthy way. Flexibility between co-parents primarily implies that the parents’ joint approach accompanies all work in which the children will engage.
Never think of leaving the other parent just like that. Remember that this is coparenting and both the parents are equally important. Do not let your children feel that you are not happy with your current situation. It would rather hurt them.
Defer to one another
Though you might think that you have complete rights over your child, you still need to discuss it with your ex before making any major decision.
For instance, if you expect to keep the child with any babysitter when you are away, you must consult that matter with your ex. It not only helps in maintaining healthy coparenting but is also in favour of your child.
You basically should agree
You and your ex might have different opinions. Both of you may not agree on a particular concept. It is normal human behaviour. Don’t make an issue out of that and start arguing.
Settle, think and allow your brain to decide what is right for the sake of your children. Reach an ultimate decision that will consequently benefit your children, be it regarding their health or education, or discipline. The only thing that matters is your children at the end of the day.
Do not engage in manipulation
Researches have revealed that most of the parents, after a breakup, have an increased tendency to degrade the other parent. They engage themselves in making the children believe that the other parent is toxic in their life. It is one of the most harmful attitudes your children are developing. To maintain a proper and healthy coparenting relationship, you have to throw away this thought.
Respecting, loving, and caring for both the parents are incredibly important both for the parent and the child. Moreover, this is not going to bear you any personal threat. Thus, you should never make your children aligned or make them choose towards anyone of you.
Talk about alterations with one another
The situation may arise where you are on the verge of changing any decision at the very last moment. You are always suggested to make one effort to communicate with the other parent.
You may not be able to make the right choice all the time. Taking help from your ex-partner or letting them decide on behalf of you will not bring you down. Do exactly that which talks in favour of your children.
You should get forward nicely according to the child
Your children will, of course, expect a general and healthy relationship between you and your ex-spouse till they are capable enough of understanding the true meaning of coparenting. Therefore, you should never uphold the issues between you and your ex-spouse in front of them.
There may be many problems and difficulties you guys are going through in private, so you decided to part away. Simply remember that for your children, you are like other couples. Make enough effort to make your children believe that you two respect each other and there are no issues between you two.
Attend events without tensions
It is another example of maintaining a smooth coparenting relationship. If your children are more important to you than the issues between you and your ex, you will surely attend all the events your children need.
The opinion of your ex-spouse will be less important for you in this context. Be it any school meetings or any cultural events, and every child desires to have both their parents beside them. If you want your coparenting to be normalized like other parents, you have to cope with your feelings and choose how that benefits your children.
Do not provide your child with the detailed reason for your divorce
Your child is not habituated with the situation you are going through. Of course, you will never want your child to face any such situations in their life. So always try to keep them away from such complications. As they begin to grow older, they will gradually understand the issues.
Furthermore, if you are trying to give a detailed reason for your divorce to your children, then it is very obvious that you will always try to prove yourself right. It is a very natural human psychology to prove their point correct. Now, this goes against the rule of coparenting.
Thus, if you are to maintain a healthy coparenting relationship, then avoid speaking about any issues that might lead to the reasons for your divorce. Both parents must keep this in mind for the sake of their children. Make it very clear that no negativity is allowed.
Acknowledge the purpose of each parent
If you are a responsible and caring parent, you will always know the importance of the other parent in your children’s life. No matter what, you must always acknowledge the priority of the other parent in the mind of your children. Never make the other parent appear purposeless in front of your children.
If you value your children, you can undoubtedly do well with each other. We know that it is tough for you to spend time with someone you have already parted from. But if your children are your primary priority, you know well what to do then.
Ways to co-parent in the initial stages of breakup
The initial stages of getting separated can be tough. Getting away from a person you have been leaving with all these times is not easy at all. However, you cannot accept toxicity. Moreover, even if it was not toxic, you must have been irritated. Of course, you too have the right to stay happy. Hence, you need to opt for some of the best ways to overcome such situations.
But the most crucial thing you need to remember is that your mental health should in no way hurt your children. They should not get involved in the issues they are dealing with. Treating them like before is your responsibility, and you have to continue that in all the means you can. We recommend some of the best ways you must remember so that your bond with your child is not hampered and remains intact.
Acknowledge your judgment to chop your casualties works in the decent interest of all
Moving away from a relationship that you feel to be toxic for yourself is always beneficial for yourself and the others you are linked with. You should never remain stuck in a situation that keeps on hurting you and destroying you in the end.
A fresh start for yourself is always better for your children rather than toxicity. Being with one parent is far more blessed than witnessing the routined problems between them. Living in a manipulative and depressed environment is never healthy for your children. Such problems hamper the mental health of the child.
Of course, you will never want your children to breathe in nasty air. So, part away before your children is already on the verge of damage. No need to give a second thought once you feel irritated and unhappy with your current relationship.
Understand that children are like psychic sponges
The mental health of your children is extremely sensitive. They are not strong enough like adults. You need to understand their emotional condition. Due to the mishaps between you and your ex, your child is always at the thought that you might abandon them.
Make your children believe that no matter what, they are always important to you. Let them feel that even if you and your spouse deny the relationship with each other, you will never deny the bond you share with them. Adult’s actions hurt children.
Show them rather more love when they are put in such a situation. Hug them, kiss them, take them outside. It is invariably an effective method of conveying your care and affection for your child. Coparenting can be made healthy only if you are ready to keep aside your feelings.
Retain normality in terms of kids’ plans and action
Provide your children with full-time activities. They should be engaged in studies or even games. Encourage them to play creative games such as crafts or constructing games, puzzles, or video games. It will increase their creativity, ability to think and concentrate.
Sometimes, also engage yourself with them. It will increase both the emotional and physical bonds between you and your children. This bond is incredibly vital for all the parents and far more for coparenting parents.
Do not go surveying for your kids’ choice
Many parents keep on asking their child about whom they prefer most between the two parents. However, do not bring such a competition between you and your ex. Both of you are always important for the children, and they love you both unconditionally.
A child may love one of you a bit more, but you should not enquire about that from time to time. It makes them feel insecure about getting your love. If you engage yourself in such activities, your child will surely one day blame you for doing this as they get older.
Never try to segregate the child from the other parent
Segregating the child from the other parent is, on the first note going to affect your children. You will never attempt such things if you love and care for your children. Do not stop visiting the other parent to make them appear wicked in front of your child. Your children have the right to both of you. Don’t snatch that away from them.
Researchers have found that many parents try to separate their child from the other parent to fulfil their dissatisfaction, anger, and ego. Remember that your ego is not as important as your children are. So, don’t take any such step which will make you regret it after that.
Protect compassion and confidence all the time
Maintain a civilized conversation with your partner even after you guys have broken up. It will positively impact the children and prevent you from engaging yourself in conflicts with your ex-partner.
The way your children notice your handling capacity while arguments are the way they will react in the future. Your behaviour will be reflected in them as they become adults. Do you want your child to be someone you repent for? Protect your compassion and be confident enough to handle situations in a dignified way. It is how you can put complete effort into giving your children a healthy lifestyle.
Incorporate a substantiating ecosystem
Though coparenting is always your personal choice and something you may not like to share with others, do you know that hiding this from some individuals can affect your children instead? If you have already planned to separate, then let your children’s teachers know about that very clearly.
It is not that your child needs special treatment or attention. But at the initial stage of your separation, your children are going to be affected despite your utmost effort. It is quite natural. So, let their teachers know the truth.
It is essential as most of the time, your children are at school under the supervision of their teachers. Teachers are many times seen to wear the role of a guide, surrogate, and friend.
Try to confer with a therapist if you can
Sometimes in such situations, younger children are suggested for play therapy. It helps pull your children out of the trauma and shock they have been unknowingly dealing with.
Challenges in coparenting and how to handle them
The separation between you and your spouse affects not only you two but also your close ones. Your children fall in first place in the list of those closed ones. Moreover, if you have been divorced, it is rather more difficult for your children to cope.
Coparenting in recent years is getting success according to studies. If there are any drastic issues such as domestic violence, then coparenting cannot be a major success. It is because in the growing year’s kids require a healthy and suitable environment. Those developing years are crucial and can cause major mental damage to your kids if not taken care of.
Coparenting demands to keep aside all the fights and disagreements. But if the issue is intensely serious, then this might not be possible. Thus a large part of the success rate depends on the category of issues and disagreements that separated you two.
Why is coparenting looked down upon?
Though coparenting is a good way of maintaining your bond with your children, still according to surveys, it has been seen that there is a major portion that looks down upon coparenting. Divorce is considered a social evil according to culture and religion.
Divorcees are often considered to be uncompromising and arrogant. Whereas getting divorced is a matter of personal interest. Society is no one to interrupt and comment on such issues. Passing a judgment is easy unless one falls into the situation divorcees have been going through.
Moreover, they are also thought to be irresponsible. According to many individuals, they are not concerned about their children but only about themselves. It is thought that when they are not able to solve their marital problems, then they will not be able to solve their children’s problems as well.
Coparenting is being questioned by society even in the 22nd century. The mentality is such that after getting divorced, there is no way that parents can bring up their children by providing the proper morality and lessons. Co-parents are believed rather harm their children.
These types of comments are intensely provoking for creating a mental disturbance in the children’s mindset. Thus, parents must be aware of keeping their children away from such misleading thoughts.
If co-parents can serve ample amounts of time to their children, then the divorce will never become an issue in the growth and development of the children. Disrespecting the concept of co-parent cannot be accepted.
Cooperation between parents is essential
At the initial stages of a breakup, it is very common to get into fights and arguments once again. But for the sake of the children, parents need to cooperate with that. Coparents need to create a thin lining between their relationship and their co-parent relationship. It is the only key way to succeed in this context.
Your children demand a positive, secure and healthy environment. Provide them with that cosy feeling in both the houses. Do not let them think that they are being treated differently in both houses. The only things kids need are love and time from both of their parents.
Moreover, try to concentrate on them and their activities when you are spending time with them. It has often been seen that one co-parent is more eager to know about the personal life of the other co-parent. Do you think it is healthy for your children? No, not at all.
Coparenting is a practical experience for the two parents and two families. Flourishment of a child solely depends on the effort put in by both the parents and their support. Families should also show complete support in this regard.
Therefore, none should ever think of disrespecting parents who have chosen coparenting by sacrificing their ego as well as compromising their mental differences and personal issues just for the betterment of their children’s future.
Do’s and don’ts in coparenting
●Devote to making coparenting a clear conversation with your ex.
●Rules should be uniform and approved upon by both the homes.
●Try to maintain a positive vibe in the house.
●Concede on limitations and behavioural approaches.
●Admit that coparenting will challenge you.
●Be conscious of slippery slopes.
●Engage in normal activities.
●Go for the formal statements.
●Don’t pressurize your child.
●Don’t leap to verdicts.
●Don’t be a volatile parent.
●Don’t bestow into guilts
●Don’t spoil your child to punish your ex.
●Don’t condemn; rather, talk over.
Important issues to address in coparenting plan
It might sound odd, but parents need to make sure about who will control which part of their children’s lives and who will bear what expenses after getting divorced. Following are some of the basic responsibilities that necessarily need to be addressed while constructing a coparenting plan:
●Children’s home base
●Pickups and drop-offs
●Children’s primary physician
●Approval and disapproval in extracurricular activities
●Children’s medical expenses and health care
●Children’s camps, educations, tutors, and school activities
●Provision of privacy
●Scheduling of vacations during summer and winter
Although both the parents are suggested to take all the decisions together which will bear more fruits.
Difference between coparenting and parallel parenting
Coparenting and parallel parenting may sound similar, but in the true sense, they are not. Both of them are completely varied methods of bringing up their children after getting separated or divorced. The relationship maintained between the parents is in no way the same. There lies huge discrimination between the two.
While in coparenting, the interaction between the parents is at peak. This method primarily aims at bringing up the child together by compromising their post-divorce feelings. On the contrary, parallel parenting aims to bring up the child by both the parents yet independently. In this method, the interaction and communication between the parents are almost nil.
The concept of parallel parenting has been made to reduce the conflict between the parents. It was made to serve children a healthy environment and keep them away from any stress that is likely to occur between the two parents.
Many parents are more aligned towards accepting parallel parenting rather than building up a compromised way of coparenting. In parallel parenting, every settlement is made at the court in the very beginning. The rules and regulations are very clear right from the beginning.
Something that needs to be mentioned in this context is that you might not believe that children growing up with co-parents are much more responsible. Their morals and lessons are no less than that of the other children; rather, it is more.
For instance, when two parents have variations in opinion, they compromise their opinion and choose the one that is right for their children. From this, children learn how to compromise at times without arguing. They learn from their childhood how to work as a squad and support everyone in that squad when in need, even if you have misunderstandings and conflicts with someone.
The concept of coparenting is not at all very easy to understand at once. If you are on the verge of accepting or constructing such a relationship, then the foremost suggestion is to keep your mind cool, do not get hyper, control your ego, and put your children as the top priority.
Thus, to conclude, there are many advantages that coparenting can provide. If you cannot accept this very helpful post-divorce concept, then you are the one who needs to change your point of view and constrained thoughts.