What is Co-Parenting?
- Co-Parenting is when divorced parents work together and cooperate as adults to make joint decisions in the best interest of the children.
- Co-Parenting is not one parent believing that they have more “power” or “control” over the other parent because they have “primary” custody.
- Co-Parenting is not using the children as pawns in a never ending game of “he said she said”.
- Co-Parenting is never believing that a higher paying job, nicer home, or moving closer to relatives is justification for moving children away from one of their natural parents.
- Co-Parenting is NEVER forcing your children to call your new spouse “Mom” or “Dad”. Children have ONE Mom and ONE Dad. If a child’s natural parent is not in the picture and/or if the new step-parent and child have a loving and nurturing relationship; obviously there are exceptions to the rule of receiving the title. But that’s the key factor; the title should be earned and received by the step-parent, never demanded.
- Co-Parenting is not only not badmouthing your children’s Mother or Father in front of your children, it’s actually defending them should someone else make a negative comment about them. Remember, your children are half you and half your ex spouse. When someone insults your ex spouse they are in reality insulting your own children.
- Co-Parenting is being able to take a step back and look at your situation through your child’s eyes. It is realizing that decisions made today are like a ripple in a pond that may have effects not even felt until your children become adults and look back at what happened through grown up eyes.
- Co-Parenting is realizing that your children will not be children forever. They need love, guidance, support and values from both of their parents in order to grow into the most emotionally healthy and stable adults possible. Sure, some kids turn out pretty good being raised by only one parent (just ask the Founder of NANCM who was raised by her Dad), but without a doubt children do better if both (fit and loving) parents are able to contribute to their upbringing.
- Co-Parenting is adhering to the court ordered visitation schedule and, once again, not using the children as pawns in a game of control. Scheduling family activities like fishing tournaments and camping during the Non Custodial Parent’s visitation just to make the children feel they are missing out on something is one of the most immature methods of alienation around. If you do this, please stop and realize that in most cases the kids see right through it after the first or second time and it’s you that looks
Child Custody Parenting Plans: Guidelines
Co-Parenting After Divorce: How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children in Two-Home Families
by: Diana Shulman