No one says it’s necessarily going to be easy. However, for some mothers and fathers – the concept of co-parenting just makes sense. After all, it boils down to what’s in the best interests of the children.
In fairness, even some couples that stay together have a hard time coming to an agreement regarding parenting their children. For one, it’s a rare family where Little Johnny doesn’t know where to go when he can’t get Dad to let him do something. Mom will surely give him his own way. It’s a fact of life that will likely live on forever.
Yes, children can be manipulative. By that same token, parents can also use them as pawns during their separation or divorce. That said, parental alienation doesn’t exactly coincide with the notion of co-parenting for the sake of the kids.
When used in front of a word “co” means joint, mutual or common. Frankly, there may be times when you and your child’s other parent could feel like co-conspirators as you plot to raise decent human beings. Meanwhile, the goal of co-parenting focuses on collaboration.
It all sounds good. The fact is that the New Jersey courts encourage co-parenting whenever possible. This means finding custody arrangements that work, as well as working out parenting times.
The concept of co-parenting hits the limelight with more than a few celebrities. For example, if you follow Hollywood gossip, you’ll find Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner getting together as a family. The couple split three years ago and continue to make their children a priority.
Co-parenting and cooperation strongly resemble one another. With that in mind, not everyone can co-parent. For example, when your relationship ends because of domestic violence, you can’t expect that you can suddenly find even grounds. In fact, a restraining order may actually prevent you from direct contact.
Communication is key when it comes to co-parenting your children. If your partner or spouse has moved on to someone new, you might also feel challenged. In the meantime, many stepparents have stepped in and made the process far more manageable.
No two families are alike. Therefore, what works for one, won’t always work for anyone else. However, here’s a basic checklist with some tips that will help if you plan on co-parenting your children:
- Let the children know that even though you are apart, you are working together.
- Refrain from arguing in front of the children, especially about them.
- Set boundaries – for both of you – and the kids.
- Be consistent in both homes.
- Share information about everything pertaining to your children.
- Be cordial at school or sporting events that you both attend.
- Show restraint.
- Ask questions.
- Assume a joint approach to problem-solving.
- Demonstrate your respect for your child’s other parent.
These quick tips are just the basics. Again, it may be difficult to hold your temper at times. However, your children are undoubtedly the most precious thing that came from your failed relationship. Their future will look brighter if both parents work together to raise them.