Parenting isn’t a competitive sport … and skillful co-parenting isn’t dependent on what your parenting partner does or doesn’t do. Just know: When you both function like a strong team – your children win!! When either one of you follows best practices, your children win!!
The rules are simple and straightforward: DO….
- Treat each other with respectful civility in word and deed – your children are watching, and more importantly feeling what’s going on between you.
- When you’re with your kids, keep your mind focused on your “parenting game”– they need you to be present, emotionally connected, and holding them to appropriate rules and structure.
- Communicate (writing/email preferred) complete and useful information in a timely, concise manner – information about the kids that will help your co-parent step in as the best parent they can be.
- Participate in making decisions that require input from both of you so the kids’ lives move forward smoothly. This means reading and responding to emails in a timely manner and learning to say “Yes” when you can.
- Keep a good credit rating with your co-parent – pay up in-full and on-time for the things you’ve agreed to help pay for… and only bill your co-parent for things they’ve previously agreed to pay for in writing.
- Transition the kids between you in a calm, supportive manner (no adult conversations please!)
- Build a sturdy foundation as co-parents to ensure your children have a secure two-home family future and the one childhood they deserve!
And, lastly, “Don’t be mean!”
To learn more: Chapter 1 of “The Co-Parenting Handbook” addresses how conflict keeps spouses connected and how steps to uncouple in a healthy manner opens the door to a constructive co-parenting relationship. That’s what’s best for kids!
(Photo by Ashley Whitlatch on Unsplash)