Many times when parents divorce they are overwhelmed with guilt. Most feel as if they've ruined their children’s lives. Parents need to understand this is not true. A divorce will impact a child, but how they process it mentally and emotionally will ultimately be influenced by their parents.
Parenting Styles Developing a positive co-parenting relationship after a failed relationship can be a struggle. Since parents are no longer a couple, the main focus of the new relationship will be their children. If one parent is too permissive, and the other is too stern, it could cause problems for the children. Both parents need to work on developing successful communication, as well as patience with one another. Once co-parenting styles are accepted and agreed upon changes followed, it can become a positive experience for both parents and children.
Problem Solving Techniques Parents know there will be problems with children. According to psychologists, there are two ways to resolve a problem. One is with strategic problem-solving. This technique just looks at the issue and determines how to resolve it with the parents working together. Parents discuss shared concerns and exchange information on the issue. The other technique is social-psychological problem-solving. This is where each parent examines their emotions and attitudes that may need to change. Both techniques require a commitment from each parent and practice to be successful.
Strengths Each parent has strengths that should be utilized for the co-parenting experience to be positive. One may have better organizational skills while the other may excel in social situations. Co-parenting will require developing a routine where each parent's strengths are put to good use. Parents need to praise and appreciate the other parenting strengths. This will cause children to recognize and see the positive qualities in both of their parents.
Establish Rules In order for co-parenting to be successful, parents must establish rules for their children and follow them. Children do best with consistent structure and routine. Meal times, bed times and designated chores need to be the same when children are at either parent's house. This is very important when it comes to school work, projects as well as other school related activities. When rules are consistent children have a sense of predictability and security in their lives. Children will know how to follow the rules because they'll be the same with each parent.
Define Boundaries It is important children know what their parents expect when it comes to behavior. Unacceptable behavior could be anything from a child calling the parent names, being rude, interrupting conversations, mentioning the divorce as a way to gain emotional advantage and more. What is not acceptable behavior needs to be defined and understood by the children and each parent. Children will test boundaries. They will not learn their behavior is unacceptable until they receive a consistent punishment for it. Children need to learn to apologize for bad behavior. It's important each parent holds the children accountable.
Success Family lawyers know how to help parents handle the legal aspects of a divorce. Successfully raising children is up to the parents. When a divorced couple can work together, co-parenting can be very effective. Each parent needs to be realistic about the situation and dedicate themselves to doing what is best for their children.