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Co-parenting can give children a positive environment

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Going through a divorce is rough for children. Everything that they've gotten used to is being turned upside down. Parents often try to figure out ways to make the transitions easier for the kids. This isn't always something that goes smoothly, but using the co-parenting model might help you and your ex to provide the positive environment that the children need to thrive.

The decision to co-parent must be made early and with a complete commitment. You and your ex have to decide that no matter what happens, both of you will put the children first. One way to help this process along is to set clear guidelines about everything from the start.

Even though you will put those guidelines into place, you have to remember that co-parenting is a fluid situation. Things might not always go according to the plan, so remaining flexible can help you and your ex to find solutions to issues without placing undue stress on the children.

By keeping your children at the heart of the matter, you might find that it is easier to deal with your ex. In all situations, even contentious ones, you and your ex have to decide that respect is nonnegotiable. There can't be any badmouthing or negative talk, especially around the children.

Another rule that should be set from the get-go is that the children shouldn't ever be asked to relay messages. The adults should communicate directly with each other. This keeps the children out of business that they shouldn't have to worry about. It also cuts down on the miscommunication that might occur when other people are brought into the situation.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "What Is Co-Parenting?," accessed May 18, 2018

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