What Is Co-Parenting? The Definition, Benefits, and How To Do It Right

Taking care of two children by yourself shouldn’t be that hard. But it is. There are so many things you have to worry about as a single parent. You have to be a great parent and at the same time, you still need to open up your life to other activities. The best way I know how to manage co-parenting is by going from being a mom of three kids to becoming a co-parent. This blog will teach you everything that you need for your upcoming Co-Parenting journey.

What is Co-parenting?

Do you ever find yourself wondering what is co-parenting? You’re not alone. Co-parenting is a relatively new term and covers an even newer concept. Co-parenting, also known as joint custody, is an approach to parenting after divorce in which the parents of a child share custody and responsibilities.

Co-parenting is the act of splitting parenting responsibilities with another person. Being a divorced parent is the lousiest, most challenging job in the world. But you can beat the odds by working together with your ex-spouse as co-parents.

Co-parenting is a way to live your life in which, you are fully aware of all the possible changes to your relationships, whether they be personal, family, or professional.

According to the experts, guiding principles for co-parenting include honesty, commitment, communication, and consistency. By following these basic principles in your co-parenting relationship, you can reap the multiple benefits of this unique arrangement.

3 Most Common Co-parenting Type

#1 Parallel co-parenting

Parallel co-parenting is one of the most stylistic co-parenting styles and it is gaining popularity among new couples. It refers to a situation in which parents no longer live in the same house but still share equal responsibility for parenting. It’s the ultimate co-parenting style for divorced couples because it helps them to avoid stress and maintain a healthy relationship with their child.

#2 Cooperative co-parenting

Cooperative co-parenting is a legal and family arrangement where both parents work more or less as a team for the benefit of their kids. It can be loosely described as cooperative parenting, where both the parents support each other for the sake of their child or children. It does not, however, mean that both parents will ditch their own preferences and adopt each other. Instead, what occurs here is that they found a way to put their differences aside and agree to disagree on certain topics as needed. Cooperative co-parenting is the most successful way to raise children, according to experts.

#3 Conflicted co-parenting

Conflicted co-parenting refers to a situation where two parents don’t agree. This happens when one or both partners are not emotionally ready to let go of their previous relationship and move on with their own lives. Experts say that when there are constant disagreements between both parents, it affects their children. This kind of parenting situation may seem obvious to outsiders but can be devastating to the health and morale of the children involved.

Read: What is Bad Parenting and How They Can Affect Your Child

The Benefits of Co-Parenting for Parents and Children.  

Co-parenting benefits include:

  1. Improved relationships between the parents
  2. Protecting the child from the emotional trauma of parental conflict
  3. Providing a sense of emotional stability for the child
  4. Keeps the child connected with both parents and extended family
  5. A sense of belonging is at least 2 homes
  6. Develop children’s problem-solving abilities.
  7. Reduced parentification
  8. Stimulates the development of a healthy, autonomous identity

What is the Best Way to Co-parent?

Co-parenting isn’t easy, especially when you and your co-parent have different parenting styles, which often leads to arguments. However, it’s all worth it in the end — at least that is what I tell myself. Here are a few ways to improve your co-parenting skills.

1. Respect the co-parent.

2. Discuss what the arrangement means to each of you.

3. Try to avoid conflicts, especially when the children are present.

4. Be a team. Share responsibilities, such as driving to sports games, attending school plays, and being at doctor’s appointments.

5. Be flexible and understanding of each other’s capabilities.

6. Communicate respectfully with one another both in person and in writing.

Drawbacks of Co-Parenting

Drawbacks of Co-Parenting
  1. Time management
  2. Conflicting views may traumatize children

Behavioral studies have shown that 75% of divorcees blame their divorce on their children. The effects of divorce are not limited to just adults. Children are also greatly affected by divorce, often experiencing confusion, sadness, and anger due to a sudden major change in the family structure (Acs & Hembree, 1997).

How to Successfully Co-Parent

The key to successful co-parenting is to separate the personal relationship with your ex from the co-parenting relationship. It may be helpful to start thinking of your relationship with your ex as a completely new one—one that is entirely about the well-being of your children, and not about either of you. By adopting this type of co-parenting approach, it’s much easier to detach yourself emotionally from your ex and refocus on the task at hand: Making decisions together that will benefit the needs of your child.

In this article, you’ll discover the 5 steps of successful co-parenting and learn how to work together even when your relationship with your ex is less than perfect.

  1. Good co-parenting requires good communication: Both partners should have each other’s contact information, work schedules, and cell phone number.
  2. Set aside anger: Successful co-parenting is a full-time job. Everyone wants to see their kids happy and safe. That’s what every parent wants. So, how do you make it happen? Make sure you’re setting aside your hurt and anger.
  3. Don’t put children in conflict: Making sure that your children don’t feel like they have to choose between mom and dad is important because it helps your children stay connected with both of you.
  4.  Plan for holidays: Many parents do not plan for holidays and vacations from the beginning. When the time comes to take off, though, we either have to scramble for someone to care for our children or cancel our trip if none of the neighbor can help out. However, taking time before the season starts to think about options will allow us to relax and enjoy our time with family and friends.
  5. Communication: Co-parenting can be at times, a little bit tricky especially if you are doing it for the first time. Every parent wants to have a good relationship with their kids. In order to achieve this, you need to establish good communication with the other parent.

How to Handle the Tough Times with Your Co-Parent?

It may be a time for relaxation, but you can’t forget about your children. It’s important to nurture the relationship you have with your children and make sure that you’re spending time with them, too.

I’m in a similar situation myself and don’t want to do anything that will make my situation worse.

When it comes to kids and being a good parent, the most important thing is to maintain a positive relationship with them. Spend time with them and include them in your life.

Did You Know That Co-Parenting is Actually Good For Children?

Lara Paterson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a private practice in Dallas, Texas, and is the founder of CoParents.com, a resource for families with shared parenting.

Relationships that include children are often challenging. But, when both parents are committed to working together as partners, it can be a rewarding experience for everyone.

It’s important to remember that children benefit from having two parents who love them and help them grow and learn. A key aspect of a cooperative parenting relationship is working together to make decisions that are in the best interest of the children.

Cooperative parenting relationships rely on open communication, mutual respect, and commitment to the best interest of the child.

The term ‘cooperative parenting’ is becoming more common in that it is grounded on mutual respect, understanding, and shared decision-making. It encourages parents to cooperate with each other for the benefit of their children.

Cooperative parenting requires parents to communicate their perceptions of events and how they will manage those events.

How to create a Co-parenting plan?

Co-Parenting plans may require compromise, but with a bit of cooperation and care, you can create something that works for your entire family. A well-thought out parenting plan can help reduce stress and improve relationships between co-parents.

Co-Parenting Plan For Everyone (In 12 Easy Steps)

Step #1: Start by writing down your needs. Use a worksheet.

Step #2: Identify what should be included.

Step #3: Discuss and negotiate with the other parent.

Step #4: Determine your child’s age and developmental stage.

Step #5: Keep the best interests of your child in mind.

Step #6: List your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Step #7: Work out a flexible schedule for holidays, vacations, and birthdays.

Step #8: Specify the start date of the plan.

Step #9: Clearly define roles and responsibilities.

Step #10: Avoid using labels like “primary” or “secondary” caregiver.

Step #11: Be flexible in determining custody arrangements for holidays, birthdays, and summer breaks.

Step #12: Factor in extracurricular activities and special events.

Parenting is difficult but a little extra effort can make it easier to do well as a parent. Creating a parenting plan can help ensure that both parents remain involved in their children’s lives, to the benefit of everyone involved.

Takeaway

In summary, co-parenting is an arrangement that allows both parents to share custody of the child. Both parents must agree on which rules to follow and attempt to resolve their differences in a constructive manner. Co-parenting is still a new concept and not everyone has heard of it or wants to try it. But as time goes on and people expend more effort on giving their children what they need, co-parenting will likely become more prominent as an option for families to consider. Nonetheless, it’s an admirable and worthwhile thing to do, and can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do as a parent.


FAQ related to Co-Parenting

What is an example of co-parenting?

Co-parenting is about two spouses who were once married and are now divorced (or legally separated) and share parenting responsibilities for their children (who are not grown up already). Typically, how the co-parenting relationship works depends on the parents’ ability to be reasonable and realistic. One example of reasonable co-parenting could be when the child’s parents can both drive the child to a soccer game but one decides to go in advance, drop off a backpack, pick up the child after practice and help with homework that night.

What are the benefits of co-parenting?

Co-parenting has been shown to slow down the breakup process for families and allows the kids to adjust more easily. In short, it helps your entire family transition through a difficult time in their lives. Co-Parenting is a great way to help parents continue to have a relationship and spend time together, as well as work together on behalf of their children.

How do I co-parent as a mother?

Co-parenting can be one of the most frustrating and difficult things to handle. Whether you are a mother or father, keeping up a successful relationship is key to the well-being of your child. There are a few rules that must be followed to make sure that co-parenting succeeds in the long term.

How did you prepare for co-parenting?

Becoming a parent is an exciting time in your life, and sharing the experience with your partner can make it even more joyous. But then, life throws you a curveball when you and your spouse decide to separate or one of you passes away leaving you as the sole parent. Suddenly, you are faced with making all the decisions that come with parenting a child on your own. You are no longer just sharing the parenting responsibilities but also bear sole responsibility in making all the decisions. You will feel like you have suddenly become a single parent.

What is the most challenging part of being a co-parent?

There are several challenging parts of being a co-parent.

CHALLENGE #1: For one, you might have to learn how to communicate openly with your ex again. It’s difficult to talk with your ex about meeting the kids’ needs, especially if you’re not getting along. It can be hard to work together and be civil when you’re in the middle of a divorce or breakup. This can be a tough obstacle for some people and communication is important for maintaining an ongoing relationship with your co-parent.

CHALLENGE #2: Another difficult part of being a co-parent is scheduling time with the children or kids. You have to schedule your time together which means that you have to work around other parents’ schedules.

CHALLENGE #3: The third most challenging part of being a co-parent is dealing with the emotions that come from your children being with the other parent.

What are the factors affecting co-parenting relationship?

A co-parenting relationship can be affected by many factors. You and your co-parent may not always see eye-to-eye in regard to your child’s various needs. It is likely that each of you has very different approaches to being a parent, which can make difficult decisions more challenging.

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