Having and raising children is a challenge. Having to co-parent children during separation or divorce can feel impossible. Children see and hear the sadness and anger taking place around them. Parents don’t always think about what is in the best interests of the children, because they are so hurt or upset by their own pain. Teaching parents to focus on what is truly best for the children is why most courts mandate parenting classes, in order to encourage more effective co-parenting. So, what is co-parenting, and what does successful coparenting look like?
Successful Co-parenting occurs when parents (and eventually step-parents) work together to fully love and support the child/ren. Courtesy, honesty, thoughtfulness, and positive communication are key. Why is it so important to strive to be the best co-parent possible?
- Involving children in adult matters is emotionally harmful and inappropriate.
- Talking bad about the other parent to a child may make the child feel as if something is wrong with them too.
- Being overly critical about the other parent can severely affect the child’s own self-esteem or well-being, because they love both parents.
- Pitting the child against the other parent is childish and cruel, and it often backfires. Most attempts to disparage the other parent result in the child feeling resentment toward you.
Although conflict and differing opinions will take place due to differences in parenting styles, there are ways to communicate without hurting the child. Parenting apps are a good start. OurFamilyWizard, TalkingParents, and AppClose can help bridge the communication gap and also create accountability. A parent is usually more careful communicating via parenting app than on text, as they know it is more easily monitored. Parents who have difficulty speaking to one another can use the app instead of texting or calling.
Another positive thing about a parenting app is that every communication is logged, and you can see exactly when and what time the other parent received the message. Unlike a text, where you are not always sure a message is seen and when, the parenting app tells you exactly what date and time your message was read, even if it was not responded to. This is very helpful for future court situations, if necessary.
Ultimately, the goal is to raise happy, healthy children who will grow into productive adults. The decision to co-parent most effectively is up to you. Your child/ren deserve your best!