|Raising a child on separate terms could be exhausting, and it would mean talking to your former partner about things, which could actually be stressful for someone who is not in good terms with their former spouse / Photo by: Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock|
Parents are assumed to only want the best things for their children. However, there are moments wherein a couple’s relationship is not successful enough that it ends up in divorce or separation. Among a lot of things that need to be settled is with which parent the kids will stay and will that parent be granted equal rights and responsibilities over the children? This alone could become a struggle, especially if there are things the at-odds couple could not agree about.
According to Psychology Today, a website that gives information from renowned psychologists and academics on mental health, co-parenting is more often than not a difficult process that some couples may have to undergo when there are children involved. Raising a child on separate terms could be exhausting, and it would mean talking to your former partner about things, which could actually be stressful for someone who is not in good terms with their former spouse. Also, some single parents who are in custody of their children will find it difficult to communicate with a parent if they are not willing to help in raising a child.
A lot of things are required when it comes to co-parenting, and you’ll need a lot of patience and open communication for it to work well. Though couples may have encountered some marital problems in the past, it would be better to place the focus on the children first and forget the differences that they may have had during their relationship run. Separating with someone is already difficult and painful, and being a parent who will leave behind their child could add up to that stress.
In an article on Help Guide, a non-profit website that provides mental health and wellness awareness, it was discussed how important it is to make shared decisions and positive interaction with a co-parent. The separation of personal relationships is essential for co-parenting to be successful. Such parenting is not ideal for most children, but sometimes, it could be inevitable. A couple’s relationship may be over, be it personally or on paper, but parenting will always be there. A child will still need their mother and father even though the two are separated. And as parents, providing the best things for your child is your main priority. Their needs will be the ones that need to come first before anything else.
Being a Good Co-Parent
The first thing that someone who has recently separated from their spouse has to do is to make sure that they have healed in some manner. Moving on from the separation is vital to make sure that a person can function well, whether within the family unit or with other relationships. According to Dr. Juliana Morris, a marriage and family life therapist, some parents tend to be combative with others, affecting the way they decide on their children’s affairs. A parent must be able to be happy as an individual to be an effective co-parent.
Some couples will actually dwell in their past mistakes and think more about the pain that each one may have caused the other. However, there was a time when both individuals were happy together. This should be the setup. Agreeing on everything may seem difficult, but once you think about those times you were good to each other, perhaps, you can see future encounters to be more a business-like relationship, and the decisions you’ll be making can be more centered on your child.
|The first thing that someone who has recently separated from their spouse has to do is to make sure that they have healed in some manner / Photo by: Oksana Shufrych via Shutterstock|
Tips for Successful Co-Parenting
You cannot really step away from being a parent, especially in the eyes of the law. What you can do is to make sure that your child has everything they need so that your separation will not affect them negatively as much. The HuffPost, a website that provides real-life stories and related information, pointed out some things you can do to make sure that your co-parenting journey will be a success.
1. Be empathetic
You have to put yourself in your partner or in your children’s shoes to know the kind of situation they are in. You need to understand that they are also in a difficult situation, and what you need to do is to make sure all of you can navigate through all the feelings well.
2. Be flexible
It’s better to stop arguing when it comes to your children. Usually, the cause of the fight can just be because of the schedule. As much as possible, talk to your partner about how both of you can be flexible. Remember, the priority here is to make sure that your child will have a normal life as much as possible.
|You cannot really step away from being a parent, especially in the eyes of the law. What you can do is to make sure that your child has everything they need so that your separation will not affect them negatively as much / Photo by: Liderina via Shutterstock|
3. Accept differences
Every parent will have their own parenting style. You cannot expect your former partner to have the same style as you do. Accept the differences and be open to know that things can happen differently from your side and your partner’s side.
4. Communicate well
Nothing good will happen if you start a conversation with bickering and fighting. Be more civil when it comes to talking about your kids. Treat it more like a business deal. At least, if you can’t be nice to each other, then just act professionally. Also, if there is something you need to say to your partner, tell them directly and not through the kids.
5. Have respect
This involves every aspect of co-parenting. Your ex-partner should be treated with respect, even though you are not in good terms. Also, if your child is with your ex-partner, respect their time together and do not disturb them so much.
Parenting, as it is, can be a tricky and complicated proposition, all the more if somehow the marriage does not work and you end up separating from your spouse. But that doesn’t mean you will stop being a good parent. After all, your child’s future is still at stake, even though you’re not living under the same roof anymore.