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How to Co-Parenting Positively

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co-parenting positively

divorced motherWhen you can finally look in the mirror and admit your marriage is over, it’s time to really focus on what’s best for your children. You can spend every ounce of energy and every waking minute on trying to make your eventual ex-spouse’s life miserable, or you can use that time and energy to do something positive.

Working with the other parent of your children instead of against them is much more beneficial for your children. It takes work, but in the end, that work is worth more than taking a negative approach.

3 Tips for Co-Parenting Successfully

Every co-parenting family and situation is different. However, regardless of the situation, most families can benefit from using the following co-parenting strategies.

1. Stay on Topic 

One of many divorcees’ favorite pastimes is getting into arguments with their ex. The big problem with this is that your ex is also your children’s other parent.

Instead, for the sake of your kids, when you have interactions with your ex, keep it on topic. And, that topic is your children.

There’s no need to talk about the past, or to get worked up over small inconsequential details. Instead, keep your communication civil and on topic

2. Go with the Flow

World famous martial artist and movie star Bruce Lee once said that in order to be a great fighter, you should be like water. Amazingly, that applies to parenting and co-parenting as well.

When you work through your divorce, whether you go through litigation or mediation, you will need a parenting plan and custody schedule. It’s important you follow both. However, you don’t have to be completely rigid.

Sometimes life happens. You might need to attend a funeral, or your ex might get stuck with jury duty. When it makes sense to make one-time minor changes to your time split, it’s best for everyone involved to do so.

3. Remember the Goal

co-parenting positivelyAt the end of the day, the co-parenting arrangement and custody schedule are in place for the good of your children. The day-to-day happenings may ruffle your feathers now and again and tempt you into pointless squabbling. But, it’s important to remember not to get bogged down in inconsequential nonsense.

The entire reason you are involved in an organized co-parenting situation is for the good of your children. When you feel yourself getting off-track and lured into a potential conflict with your ex, remember that is moving you away from your goal.

In Summary

Co-parenting isn’t always easy. It’s probably not the way you thought you would end up raising your children when the idea of having children first became a reality.

Although it’s not ideal, it doesn’t have to be problematic or toxic. By following the tips above, and by working together with your children’s other parent in the best interests of your children, you can raise very happy and healthy children.

How to Co-Parenting Positively is a guest blog by Tim Backes.

Tim Backes is the senior editor for Custody X Change, a custody calendar software solution.


Author: Martha Childers

Martha Childers, EdS, LPC is a multicultural psychotherapist specializing in couples, grief and caregiver stress. Martha is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and Kansas. She received her masters and education specialist degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She practiced Zen through a variety of Japanese traditional arts for 3-1/2 years. Since that time, mindfulness has been an integral part of her life. Her interest in human nature, beliefs, and life styles led her to become a counselor.

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