Rachel Menzoian, LPC
5 Tips For Successful Co-Parenting:
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Co-Parenting can be hard. I have learned a lot on my journey and made a lot of mistakes. Here are a few tips from one co-parent to another to help you be successful.
1.Keep kids out of the middle.
No one likes to be in the middle, especially kids between their parents. Talk to each other about co-parenting issues instead of sending messages through your children. Agree to never ask a child to keep a secret from the other parent. Allow your child the space to talk freely about the other parent without judgment. Encourage your children to love both of you.
2. Have a plan and stick to it
Creating a plan is a lot of work in the beginning but will be worth it over time. Kids thrive on consistency and routine. Daily review routines, activities and any changes. It helps to have a calendar displayed in a central place for kids to see coming events and activities.
3. Keep transitions easy
Transitions can be stressful for everyone. It’s important to prepare and remind your children ahead of a transition. Then plan for re-entry when your child returns. This could be a special meal or game.
4. Have a plan for communication
Although communication with your co-parent can be difficult, it is necessary and important. The goal is to keep each other in the loop while keeping the kids out of the details. While it is important to find what works for you, agree to communicate regularly and when children are not around. Keep the communication kid focused, and positive. Avoid any “business” communication during the handoff.
5. Deal with your hurt and pain separately
Talk to someone else, not your children about your feelings. This could be a trusted friend or a counselor. In order to parent well you need to take care of YOU! While it can be very lonely and painful when your children are away, plan this time for you. You may enjoy being with friends or spending time on a hobby at home.
You won’t always get it right and you may feel overwhelmed at times. The important thing is to keep working at it, learn from your mistakes and put your kids first.