Coparenting Basics

Co-parenting after divorce or separation is going to have its challenges. It isn’t always easy to put your children’s feeling and needs ahead of your own when you are going through such a devastating time in your life. Remember that they are too and if they ever needed you, now is the time.

During the divorce, people not only fear the loss of their spouse but of their children as well. I know for me I dreaded not being with my daughter, I felt as if she would forget who I was, that I would miss out on teaching her to ride her bike, or her first day of school – this coming from a father that had 50 percent custody. Dads, don’t ever walk away from your children and don’t settle for every other weekend because they need you much more. Whether it feels like it or not parenting is always going to be a full-time job, and both parents need to put the children ahead of themselves… as Yoda would say, “Do or do not… there is no try.” Here are some tips to help you “DO.”

10 Co-Parenting Tips

  1. Each parent has different and valuable contributions to make to their child’s development so try and recognize what they are in each other.
  2. Studies have shown that children do their best when BOTH parents are involved in their lives; this includes school, after-school activities, and frequent contact.
  3. As much as they fight it, children do need routine and structure, and this should be at both parent’s home. Things such as meals and bedtime should be fairly consistent.
  4. Help your children keep existing relationships with friends and family as well as activities that they are involved in.
  5. Here is a real tough one because it was difficult during marriage; but communication and cooperation is critical in arranging children’s activities.
  6. Rules should be consistent at both households. Doing this creates a sense of security for the children.
  7. When the children are going back and forth from mom and dads, they should be allowed to bring personal items with them no matter who purchased them.
  8. Don’t expose your children to conflict; don’t argue and fight in front of them or where they can hear you. Pick up and drop offs should be civil. You don’t have to be all lovely, but at the least, you should be business-like.
  9. The essence of good parenting is to reassure your children that they are loved, cared for and protected by both parents.
  10. Maintain consistency so children can reasonably rely on being with the same parent at the same time each week.

Here is a pdf that goes a little more in detail of what children require after their parents divorce. What Children Need!