Is Co-Parenting Easy?
Co-parenting is not easy. This is the very simple answer to the question we asked in the title of this blog and we could just leave things at that. Co-parenting is a hard thing to get through and it’s a lot harder than parenting when you and your partner are in a relationship (and even that isn’t easy, anyway).
However, it wouldn’t be right to leave you with just that answer and no additional help, so we’ll go further. The truth is that although co-parenting isn’t easy, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it can be. In fact, by working together and having some specific rules in place (for you and for your children), it can be a much smoother journey. Read on to find out what we mean.
Have Realistic Expectations
One of the hardest things about co-parenting is having to change your expectations about what you and your ex can and can’t do. It’s crucial to understand that your relationship has changed, and it’s not just the children who have to adapt to their new life, you do, too. When you set realistic expectations, you can reduce the potential for arguments and that goes on to create a more stable place for children to live. This is a difficult thing to do, but help and advice can be found at twohealthyhomes.com to help you get started.
The main problem is that each parent is going to have their own parenting style and trying to make each other work in the same way is going to cause conflict. It can even lead to being competitive instead of working together, which is the best thing for your children. The best thing to do is to stick to your own style but to also stick to the same rules and routines in both households. In this way, everyone can be happy, and everyone can keep their expectations realistic.
Have Good Communication
Co-parenting is going to be a lot harder than it needs to be if you and your ex can’t communicate well. One of the most important ways to make co-parenting easier is to create a good level of communication because this will not only make things easier for you, but it will also make things easier for your children. They’ll see that you’re talking and discussing things with their other parent, and they won’t feel quite so worried about the situation as they’ll see that you’re not entirely apart, even though you’re divorced or separated.
When you have clear and open lines of communication, you can discuss important matters, like scheduling, medical appointments and worries, and education, for example. Communication doesn’t have to be in person (although it’s great if that’s possible), and can be done through texts, phone calls, emails, and more. You’ll need to decide what works best for you, and as long as you’re communicating, it doesn’t really matter how.
Be Fair And Respectful
One hugely important element to consider when you want to make co-parenting easier is to be fair and respectful. So, make sure you divide your time equally with your children (where possible — work and other conflicts mean you have to be adaptable at times, of course) and make a plan that outlines precisely what each parent is responsible for. This could include visitation, school events, and perhaps events that you used to all go to as a family.
Respect is just as important as being fair. Don’t speak negatively about your partner in front of the children, no matter what you might think of them. Your children need a good relationship with both of their parents, and you shouldn’t ruin that even if your own relationship has broken down.