Many people know that they need to co-parent their children together, but they may not understand what healthy co-parenting is. Some parents do not have a good relationship with one another, so it’s reasonable to ask if they should be co-parenting at all and to wonder if the parenting they’re doing is healthy.
Healthy co-parenting relies on two parents agreeing on how to raise their children and being willing to be flexible. Having boundaries, avoiding manipulation and thinking about your children before taking any action is key.
Are you co-parenting effectively?
It’s not always easy to know if you are co-parenting effectively. This is a short list of steps to take to create a healthy relationship as a co-parent to your children:
- Set boundaries to avoid arguments with the other parent
- Have a method of communication with the other parent
- Avoid manipulation or spreading inaccurate information about the other parent
- Improve flexibility. Focus on being flexible to do what is best for your child at all times
- Maintain a set custody schedule
- Focus on showing your child that two parents can get along to raise them
A good co-parenting relationship has open communication. The two parents generally get along, but if they don’t, they make an effort to appear as if they do.
When won’t co-parenting methods work?
It’s essential to co-parent your children, but if you and the other parent don’t get along, you may have a different type of relationship. In that case, it may be necessary to seek sole legal and physical custody, or you may have to set up a process for transferring custody that doesn’t involve you seeing each other.
Every case is different, and not all people are able to have a positive co-parenting relationship
It is much more complicated to deal with cases where parents don’t get along, abuse was present or other factors are harming the relationships. In those situations, it can be valuable to talk to your attorney and the court about options like minimizing custody exchanges or giving only one parent legal custody to make decisions for the child.