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  • Benefits of Co-Parenting (And How to Do It)

    When parents decide to separate or divorce, the first question they usually must answer is, “What’s best for the kids?” Well, according to the research, children thrive best with both parents in their life, no matter how those two adults feel about each other. It is for this reason that most child health experts agree that co-parenting is in the best interests of children of divorce.

    The latest research indicates that children of divorce, whose parents agree to co-parent, can grow up just as well-adjusted as those children from married-parent homes. There’s research that indicates that they may actually fair a little better, have a lower divorce rate themselves, and be more successful in their careers.

    Why is this?

    Children that come from co-parenting learn how to work as a team – even through ruptures – to proactively create effective arrangements. They also see their parents working together for THEIR benefit, which gives them a healthy sense of self-worth. Additionally, seeing parents successfully communicating with one another teaches them how to recreate those communication skills with others.

    Tips for Co-Parenting

    Co-parenting will take some practice to get it right. Here are some tips for you and your parenting partner:

    Make a Commitment

    We’ll be honest, this journey will have bumps. Even so, make a commitment to your children and promise to have open and honest communication for the sake of their well-being.

    Be Consistent

    Rules for both households should be agreed upon at the very beginning, and maintained in both homes. Your children will test you both. You may want to be the “cool parent,” and bend the agreed upon rules. But this will backfire to hurt your kids and your relationship with them in the long run. Rules will help to ensure routine and structure, which they especially need in times of change.

    Avoid Negative Talk

    While you may have issues with your ex, that is still your child’s parent. If you “trash talk” your ex around your children, it causes them distress and discourages them from being open with you. Talk that frustration out with a family member, close friend, or your mental health provider.

    Seek Counsel

    If you need help with lines of communication or help putting in place a comprehensive co-parenting plan, we encourage you to seek the guidance of a trained family therapist. Clinicians at Riverside Psychology can help you navigate these choppy waters so everything is done with your child’s best interests in mind.

    If you’d like to work with a psychologist who is caring, nurturing, and never judgmental, please reach out today.